Online Banking Scams and How to Avoid Them

    Have you noticed an increase in the number of banking and finance scams recently? Have you found your phone filled with random scam texts? Convenient as online banking is, concerns do exist, and banking scams are on the rise. You may be wondering is online banking safe? What common scams do I need to look out for? And what are the best practices for online banking?  Read on to explore the answers to these questions and stay informed on how best to safeguard your finances online.

    What is Online Banking

    Online banking enables you to access financial services that were once limited to physical locations anytime and anywhere. Today you can access these services through any internet connected device; making almost instant transactions, managing your bill payments, investing and even applying for loans. All of which can be done at your convenience.

    Common Online Banking Scams

    Despite tight security measures, users still fall for scams and cyber-attacks. We’ve compiled a list of the most common online banking scams and tactics running rampant online today:

    1. Phishing Texts & Emails

    Scammers have been found to send fake text messages or emails containing phishing links, frightening customers with unusual log-in attempts and unknown transactions.

    These phishing links lead to fake log-in pages designed to record your log-in credentials and other personally identifiable information. With these details, scammers can access your bank account and make transactions from your accounts.

    2. Malware

    In other scenarios, instead of directly transferring funds out of your account, cyber criminals take a more subtle approach. Sending a number of malware infected links through emails and text messages designed to compromise your device and expose your confidential data. Hackers can then gain access to the credentials of your online bank accounts and commit other cyber crimes such as identity theft.

    3. Fake Banking Apps

    We’ve found an exponential increase in fraudulent banking apps flooding the Google Play Store. It’s essential when downloading mobile banking applications to exercise caution. It can be hard to miss apps that closely resemble legitimate ones, however subtle differences can be identified. Scammers leverage these applications to make users divulge their login details and personal information. Once logged in, they inadvertently expose themselves to various fraudulent activities.  

    What Can I Do to Stay Safe When Banking Online?

    Here are some top tips for banking online safely:

    1. Utilise a strong and unique password or consider using a Password Manager

    2. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)

    3. Only use official banking apps from trusted sources. Before downloading any app, thoroughly check the App Developer and reviews to ensure legitimacy

    4. Avoid clicking on unknown links. Always visit official websites and apps

    5. Regularly review your bank account statements to identify any unusual activities or transactions promptly

    6. Keep your devices and banking apps up-to-date to benefit from the latest security patches and enhancements

    7. Refrain from conducting online banking transactions on public Wi-Fi networks. If necessary, utilise a virtual private network (VPN)

    8. Consider using Identity Protection Advanced. It provides comprehensive protection against fake online banking apps and other malware threats. It also stops sites from collecting your data, alerts you to data leaks, secures your social media accounts, and defends you against online threats. Learn more about ID Protection Advanced here.

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