Pandemic and bank fraud: 10 tips to avoid them


The number of sites using the coronavirus outbreak has increased as an excuse to lead bank users to share passwords or personal data

Due to quarantine, bank customers are using home banking more than ever. Many of them are even connecting with their banks for the first time.

In this framework, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the most unsuspecting and, through emails or phone calls that seek to recreate a regular interaction with the bank, steal data and commit fraud. In several cases, interactions begin with alleged information about the coronavirus pandemic or with a request for donations to combat the outbreak. In response, entities are conducting awareness campaigns among their clients to avoid these situations.

Top 10 tips from banks

From the banks they spread a Tips to minimize the damage that cybercriminals can do in the current context.

  1. Not to do click on links or attachments suspects.
  2. Never enter personal or bank details (such as keys, coordinate card or token data) through an email, social networks, WhatsApp chains or text messages.
  3. Do not accept any benefit or prize in exchange for which they ask you to go to an ATM, make a transfer or reveal bank details.
  4. When entering bank sites, check that the address written in the browser begins with “https”, or is accompanied by an ípadlock shaped cone.
  5. At the time of contacting the bank through the social networks, the accounts of the entities have the check mark.
  6. Never make transfers or operations in ATMs according to the telephone indications of a stranger.
  7. Configure through home banking the purchase or transfer alerts, to follow the expenses immediately.
  8. Note that no public body will request banking information by phone, email or social media.
  9. Before using a ATM or a self-service terminal verify that there is no no strange device and avoid accepting the help of strangers when operating.
  10. From Visa, meanwhile, they shared tips for making online purchases safely and explained that, only once the user clicked “buy” and added a product to the cart, the site can request credit card details.

Hackers go fishing

These days, several social network users published the text of false emails from an entity where it could be read: “As part of our security measures, we periodically examine the activity of the home banking system. During a recent investigation we have observed a problem in your account online. To avoid suspending it and other services provided by the bank, we ask you to activate your account again. We request that click on the web address and check its coordinates. ”

During quarantine, bank fraud soared

These types of techniques are known by the name of phishing And when the user clicks on the link, they are asked for bank details through which they can steal money from the accounts or make purchases with a credit card. In the last few weeks there has been a 60% increase in phishing attackssaid Luciana Lello, general manager for South America at Emailage, a firm that provides online fraud prediction solutions.

In this situation, the specialist provided 5 tips To prevent these problems:

  1. Know the source before opening the link, which arrives by SMS or mail.
  2. Identify the source of the message before opening it, i.e. check link syntax. See if it has additional letters or if it changed the order of the letters because it is a sign that it is a fraudulent link.
  3. If the offer is very good to be true, it is probably a phishing.
  4. Keep the protection software from the computer and cell phone.
  5. Think before opening any type of link and, in doing so, never put card data in forms.

A similar operation is carried out by phone calls, where the offender impersonates a bank operator who is checking data. In these cases, it is usual for the caller to have some information about the person and mention it to them, in order to gain their trust, and then ask for the remaining information. The banks clarified that they do not contact their clients in this way either.

In addition to emails and calls, social media posts and the text messages (either SMS or WhatsApp) can also be the gateway for hackers. Therefore, it is essential to be vigilant and follow the recommendations of financial institutions to prevent theft.

Banks provide a number of tips to avoid bank fraud

Alert in the banks

Banks, like the rest of the companies, are concerned about the increase in online fraud. “From AON we carried out a global survey on the risks that concern the most shareholders of companies. Last year, the risk of cyber attacks reached fifth place, when some years ago it was very far away or did not even exist. At the same time, the number of attacks is on the rise since 2017 and generates a reputational damage on the marks. The latter, within the same survey, is the second concern of executives, with which the relationship is direct, “said Mariano Gestido, director of insurance broker Aon.

“We have been seeing many attacks at the security level, with credentials display from customers. The tempt with a prize, for example, and lead them to expose their keys. Although banks make various authentication factors available, there is no method that protects the client when he himself exposes his credentials. Why is fundamental awareness“said Fabian Mealla, digital banking manager at Banco Comafi.

Mónica Gonzalez Bernadac, head of the fraud prevention area of ​​the same entity, added: “The client realizes that he has been the victim of fraud when he lacks money in any of your accounts or when you perceive that you provided too much information. The essential thing in these cases is the immediate response. Ie ccommunicate with official channels from the bank to lock accounts and stop fraud. ”

Banks are concerned about the increase in online fraud.

Banco Macro, meanwhile, stressed that the pandemic is generating new opportunities for bank fraud, based on the excuse of making a donation. “Some criminal organizations are using the Covid-19 pandemic to commit crimes. With various tricks, they seek to obtain account numbers and passwords as well as manipulate their eventual victims to make payments and transfers for alleged benefits, prizes or donations,” they said. . And they added: “The victims are mostly retired, pensioners, people with economic problems or without access to bank credit,” added the entity.

Regarding the segment of older adults, BBVA also stressed their limited access to digital channels: “In this time of quarantine, it is important to accompany older adults in their ‘online’ efforts so that they lose their fear of digital operations,” he suggested. the entity.

At Banco Galicia, they also warned of the exponential increase in “the amount of fake sites related to healthcare organizations and other terms that have to do with the Covid-19 “.

Along the same lines, Santander stated: “With the increase in the circulation of information related to the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), viral messages They offer from alleged state subsidies for informal or unemployed workers, to the request to update bank details. It’s about messages designed to trick users, obtain your data, usurp identities and even hack your personal or bank accounts. ”

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