Have you been shopping online endlessly to celebrate New Year and Christmas bash? You must be. People do this every year. But there is something that you need to be aware about. It is all about the evils of online bank fraud that has increased almost three times this year as reported by Bank Payments Association (APACS) in UK.
Did you know about these scams? If you are not aware, must keep in mind that you could be caught in three kinds of scams while accessing online banking services. These can be better called as signals of online fraud.
In the first place you can get stuck up with Phishing. Phishing is a practice of sending mails randomly as used by scammers. They deceive customers by using names of genuine organizations on the web. These mails will come to you asking you to “verify” or “update” your account information and will urge you to click on a link that will take you to their fraud site. The best way to prevent these frauds is to cross-check the mails. Remember that your bank will never ask for your account or password through a link or a website. When it is a phishing mail, they will never address you with your name but with “Dear Valued Customer”. So if you are suspicious about mails sent to you, just report it to your bank.
What these fraudsters do is that they gain access to your account and will eventually usurp all your wealth and information. Often people get into debts due to these scams. So spotting scams is another good measure for debt management. You can get more help and information from the Consumer Direct website. Like phishing there is another scam that could dry up your fortune. It is called ‘Trojans’. This name comes from the dangerous computer virus ‘Trojan Horse’ which gets into your computer without your knowledge. It captures all the keystrokes that you enter into your computer. Fraudsters use Trojans to hack your passwords by capturing keystrokes or through screen shots. For preventing Trojans the best way is to ensure that your PC has firewalls as well as updated anti-virus software and anti-spyware programmes. Use the latest version of Internet Explorer along with its security updates.
Money mule is another malicious element when it comes to online bank frauds. Money mules are nothing but transfer agents who operate for criminals. They transfer money to them by fraudulently hacking money from UK bank accounts. Most of these criminals are based abroad and they operate via money mules that are based in UK. So never get carried away by offers that promise you to drive in more money. If any company is offering you a job make sure you research on their profile and their registration in UK.
Whether online or offline banking, it is important to stay safe. You must keep your credit or debit cards safe, store your statements, and dispose off expired cards. When it comes to PIN, you should be the only person who accesses it. Katy Worobec, Head of Fraud Control, says: “Although it’s difficult to prove, we think that one of the reasons for this dip in card losses may simply be as a result of fraudsters realizing that they can prosper more by targeting foreign-issued cards – particularly those without chip and PIN protection and which currently have stronger currencies than sterling. The fact that we’ve seen a 36 per cent increase in the first half of this year in the amount of fraud being committed on foreign issued cards here in the UK adds some weight to this theory.”
For help and advice on frauds, you can visit www.banksafeonline.org.uk/ . In UK there regular awareness programmes about various anti-virus as well as anti-spyware software. This is done in alliance with the Metropolitan Police Service Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU). PCeU co-ordinates law enforcements as well as national investigative services for e-crimes in UK.