One area of technology in our industry that evolves almost daily is that of personal information and bank account scamming. Not only burgeoning but increasing in opportunistic creativity and sophistication.
A recent arrival on the radar is the remote access scam. It entails scammers posing as IT department representatives from fictitious telecoms providers or banks tricking victims into relinquishing control of their devices so that funds as well as sensitive information can be stolen. An example is that of a fraudster calling to offer help to “block a fraudulent transaction” by downloading and installing “protective” software on your computer. Once downloaded you are asked to log into your banking profile. Once logged in your device will go blank, shortly afterwards you will start receiving OTP’s to confirm transactions you did not make. You are assured by the scammer that these are all fraudulent transactions that you did not perform. You are then asked to either approve them or alternatively send the OTP’s to them to block the transactions. Once sent the fraudster will use the OTP’s to process the transactions.
Just one example of the lengths that scammers will go to in order to separate you from your hard earned money.
Here are some safety tips you should practice in order to protect yourself:
- Beware of strange ad hoc calls- if you receive a call from someone claiming to be from your bank with an offer to help download security software on your PC, or ask you to call the bank to release a payment, hang up immediately and contact your bank’s fraud department.
- Your bank will never ask you to share a OTP under any circumstances. A OTP cannot be used to reverse a transaction.
- Keep your sensitive information confidential. Never disclose your username, password, card or PIN details to anyone-not even a bank official.
- Beware of “social engineering”, fraudsters using psychology rather than technology to gain access to sensitive information. They rely on persuasion, manipulation or deception to get a victim to break normal procedures or best practices. People are often unaware of the fact that they have handed over valuable information to the “helpful” person on the phone.
- Look out for callers with an exaggerated sense of extreme urgency for you to take immediate action in order to preserve your funds. The caller will urge you to act on a suspected breach of your bank account, a fraudulent transaction or a prize you need to claim within a narrow time frame.
- If you suspect the person calling you is not a bona fide bank representative, drop the call immediately and call your bank on a known number obtained from its website.
In the unfortunate event that you do fall victim to a fraudulent practice the last thing to do is ignore it… call your bank urgently and report the crime, they will guide you accordingly. If you notice suspicious activity using your personal information you can approach the South African Fraud Protection Services (SAFPS) where they will help you create a protective registration for your identity.
Prevention is always better than cure which is why it makes sense to let us audit your safety protocols and practices both as an individual or an organization.