The reality of shifting a variety of personal, professional and financial activities online is the growing exposure to different kinds of fraud. Financial and credit services providers are working tirelessly to prevent new banking frauds and online scams from succeeding. However, the fight for Internet safety and financial security takes more than new-age technology and cutting-edge software.
End-users of financial products and services need to be active participants in fraud prevention and make it much more difficult for scammers to succeed. This begins with awareness. Consumers, businesses and Internet users need to know what the fraudulent schemes are being used to scam innocent victims and put their finances and identity at risk.
For those of us who have already made the transition to online banking and shopping, it is critical that we are aware of new and common banking frauds. By knowing what these online criminals are trying to do, businesses and consumers can put practices in place that will help avoid being scammed.
Here are the banking fraud risks that you should be paying attention to in 2022:
Lost or Stolen Devices
Fraudsters are using stolen or lost mobile devices as an opportunity to scam victims into even bigger losses. They get in contact with the victim and offer them assistance in finding their device. These scammers will send a phishing link claiming to be able to locate your device; if you input certain information that they then use to unlock your phone and eventually use your banking apps.
Remote Access Scams
Never respond to any random requests, e-mails or pop-ups to install software on your personal or professional devices. Online fraudsters will use this as an opportunity to install malicious software onto your phone or laptop, providing them with remote access to that device. Remote access scams give criminals the opportunity to enter your bank accounts through apps and online services through your existing device.
SIM-Swaps and Cloning
Cell phones have become an integral part of the way we bank and consume in 2022. Most end-users rely on SMS notifications, secure one-time-PINs and smart contact services. A SIM-swap or clone happens when a fraudster transfers your phone number to another device or service provider. This allows them to access one-time-PINs, falsify banking confirmations and pretend to be you to banks and other financial services.
As we mentioned, mobile devices are critical to banking in the 21st Century. This means that fraudsters are still using SMS scams to lure unsuspecting victims into their traps. Fraudsters will send an SMS on behalf of a banking institution and request that you share banking credentials, such as usernames, passwords and account details. Never give up this information – banks will never ask you to share your credentials or logins with them.
Phishing is still the most common banking fraud that you are at risk of facing in 2022. Unfortunately, this is due to the continued success of phishing scams on the Internet. Phishing occurs when fraudsters send you links to fake websites that look legitimate and request your personal or financial information. Only visit websites that you input the address yourself, and never follow links to a financial services or banking website.
Vishing is another common banking fraud that South Africans are at risk of in 2022. Scammers will pose as employees of a financial services provider, banking institution or software company and claim that they need your banking information over the phone. Remember that legitimate representatives of a company or bank will never ask you to share login details or financial information. If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately.
Social Media Scams
Social media scams are becoming a more prevalent part of our online activities. Fraudsters will use social media messages and posts to offer low-interest loans, crypto investment opportunities or free-to-play competitions. They request banking details and personal information with the intention of defrauding you or stealing your identity. Never share your banking credentials with anyone on social media.
Have you been a victim of banking fraud?
Contact Your Bank
If you think you have been a victim of banking fraud, the SAFPS (South Africa Fraud Prevention Service) advises that you contact your bank as soon as possible. The corrupted device needs to be unlinked and the accounts in question need to be frozen. After which, you need to carefully change all passwords, login details and account access information to prevent any future hacking.
Protective Registration is one of the most important services offered by the SAFPS. Protective Registration is a free service that protects South Africans from identity theft, impersonation or fraud. Signing up means that you will get an added layer of protection against banking fraud and receive notifications about any precautionary measures you can take to protect your online identity and accounts.
Fraud Victim Registration
If you have been the victim of online identity theft or banking fraud, it may become difficult to complete verification processes for future banking institutions or credit providers. Fraud Victim Registration allows victims of fraud to prevent further personal and financial repercussions of banking scams. You will be given a Victim of Impersonation Letter that you can give to a bank or credit provider to help that verification process and prove who you are.
At MarisIT, we are committed to protecting South Africans and their businesses from the growing risk of banking fraud. We offer a range of services that are designed to detect and prevent financial scams, as well as keep your online presence secure. For more information, contact MarisIT today.