Despite efforts by financial services providers to combat fraud with cutting-edge technology, end users of financial products can actively participate in fraud prevention to make it more difficult for criminals.
Consumers and businesses can support fraud prevention by paying attention to fraud education and updates from service providers, said Giuseppe Virgillito, FNB's head of digital banking.
End users may find it difficult to keep up with the latest scams, so it makes sense to use tips shared by financial services providers frequently. First National Bank, for example, monitors scams on a daily basis, and uses digital channels such as our FNB App and Online Banking to warn our customers about how to avoid scams.
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In order to help consumers and businesses avoid scams, Virgillito shares some current scams and tips to help protect yourself:
1. Lost/stolen device: The fraudster sends the victim a message in order to ‘assist’ them in locating their recently stolen device. The fraudster usually claims that by clicking on the embedded link provided by the fraudster, the victim can locate the device. The first thing you should do if your device is lost or stolen is delink it from your App, block your banking profile, and contact your bank.
2. If you receive a random request to install software on your personal or business device, be wary, as malicious software can be installed in order to access your banking account. Block your profile immediately if you suspect you are a victim and contact your bank. This is called the “remote access” scam.
3. While banks like FNB use app based Smart InContact to prevent SIM swaps, some customers still rely on SMS notifications. Beware of SIM swaps, these can occur when a fraudster transfers your phone number to another service provider to control your SMS notifications. In order to commit fraud, they can use notifications such as a One-Time-PIN (OTP) to do so. It's important to use Smart InContact and never share your OTP again.
4. SMS scam: Fraudsters are sending SMS messages asking customers to share their banking credentials (username and password) to deactivate their online or app banking profile. Customers are advised to only share this with the "bank consultant" assisting them with reversals - banks will never ask you for your banking credentials.
5. It is an umbrella term for a variety of malicious attempts that utilize human interaction to manipulate and trick people into making security mistakes or giving away sensitive information. In addition to phishing and vishing, there are many other scams out there.
6. Vishing is a type of fraud where scammers pretend to be from a financial institution and try to get you to tell them your confidential details over the phone. To protect yourself, remember that legitimate financial firms would never request sensitive information like PINs or passwords via any channel. Similarly, they won't ask customers to reverse any deposited sum. If you're in such a situation, end the call immediately.
7. Despite the fact that phishing is one of the most common scams, many people still fall for it. Phishing happens when fraudsters send you a link that directs you to a fake website where you enter your personal or financial information. Instead of clicking on links to financial institutions' or service providers' websites, type their web addresses into the URL.
8. In social media scams, fraudsters offer low-interest loans or crypto investments with high returns. Scammers will ask for your banking details and use them to defraud you. Never share your banking credentials. Use reputable providers and be wary of unsolicited offers.