Safety of Internet banking comes under spotlight
27 July 2012 | THEO EYBERS
JOHANNESBURG - The commercial crimes unit of the Hawks is investigating the matter.
Nel said she received strange calls in the middle of the night on her cellphone, which continued into the next day.
The criminals, who apparently hacked into her accounts, evidently needed her to switch off her phone so the bank could not alert her of the transactions being made.
Managing executive for digital channels at Absa, Chris Vrey, told The Citizen this week that criminals target Internet banking customers by stealing their identity.
He explained that they use well known methods of phishing to get hold of the customer’s details. This may happen by for instance sending a series of e-mails containing computer viruses to the banking customer.
When an attachment or link is opened the virus enters the customer’s hard drive and the criminals get hold of personal information.
Vrey warned Internet bankers that it is of the utmost importance that they keep their antivirus programmes updated on a daily basis.
He said viruses can for instance be utilised to plant key-logging software into a computer, so criminals can get logins and pin numbers.
False websites are also used for phishing.
The customer enters a website which is similar to the bank’s real website.
Vrey says customers must watch out for the https prefix to the URL and to the lock logo on the website to avoid being caught out.
He says criminals will also send SMS messages to the victim to get them to switch off their cellphones, making it impossible to warn them about possible fraudulent transactions.
Vrey said one should always do Internet banking in a safe environment.
Do not open any suspicious attachments and be sure to have your antivirus updated.
In case of any strange calls or anything else that raises suspicion, one should phone the banks’ 24 hour emergency numbers.
It is also a good idea to change one’s pin number from time to time.
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