Tips to overcome digital banking fraud this festive season

Yolande Steyn, Head of Innovation at FNB.

As the festive season draws near, cyber criminals will pull out all the tricks in the book to try and cheat consumers out of their hard-earned cash.

“Cyber crime is becoming increasingly sophisticated, with fraudsters constantly finding new ways of carrying out their unlawful conduct, especially during busy periods like the festive season.

Consumers should therefore be extra vigilant with their banking information and login details at all times,” said Yolande Steyn, Head of Innovation at FNB.

While the rapid growth of technology presents us with boundless opportunities, it also requires vigilance to prevent consumers and business from being vulnerable to cybercrime. “As a responsible financial services provider, we have, therefore, taken upon ourselves the obligation to constantly educate and inform consumers about the many ways that fraudsters use the internet to try and rip them off,” added Yolande.

She shared the following tips on how consumers can protect themselves against digital banking fraud this festive season:

• Always keep your PIN and password secure. If you think your PIN or password has been compromised, change it immediately, either on the FNB App, via online banking or at your nearest ATM or branch.

• Remember to change your passwords and PINs regularly.

• Never use the same username and password for banking as you use on other apps and websites like social media and email.

• Download the FNB App to keep track of your accounts and transactions and have additional security with you 24/7. From a security point of view, you can approve legitimate transactions and stop fraudulent online banking transactions, report fraud for any suspicious transactions, and temporarily block or cancel your cards.

• Log on to your bank’s website by typing in the web address yourself instead of accessing it via Google search as this may lead you to a spoofed site.

• Always do internet banking on a secure computer that you regularly use at home or work. Never do online banking in public areas such as internet cafes or shared computers, as you never know what software is loaded that may compromise your transactions.

• Download free Trend Antivirus and Anti-malware for your computer and/ or smartphone. Login to FNB Online Banking and click the link at the bottom of the screen to download and activate your free antivirus and ant-malware.

• Update your smartphone and computer with the latest software and app updates.

• Monitor your cellphone reception. If you have lost signal for an unusually long time, you may be a victim of SIM swap fraud. Immediately contact FNB’s 24/7 Fraud Line on 087 575 9444 to report a suspected SIM swap.

• Never open suspicious or unfamiliar e-mails or attachments, and never click on links in emails or SMSes. Criminals make emails and SMSes look legitimate and often bait you with scare tactics to confirm your account details or to login to prevent your account from being closed. They even incentivise you to win something or get something for free in order to get access to your account.

• Criminals may sometimes call you and pretend to be from your bank, service provider or a reputable retailer. During this conversation they may ask you to verify personal and banking information. It would be safer for you to hang up and call the company directly to verify whether the call is legitimate.

• Only make online purchases with your card on reputable websites that are verified as secure sites (look for the lock icon in your browser and ensure that the address starts with ‘https://’).

• Never save usernames, passwords or PINs on your cellphone or computer as this may allow others to access your banking without your permission.

Although the above tips are by no means all-encompassing, they will go a long towards ensuring that consumers keep their money safe over the festive period.

“We urge our customers to familiarise themselves with the content of our security pages, which can be located in the security centre on the FNB website,” said Yolande.

“Taking the necessary measures to protect yourself against online banking fraud can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you can have a stress-free festive season with your loved ones,” she concluded.

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