4 common online banking scams and how to avoid them

4 common online banking scams and how to avoid them

Technology allows one to manage finances and make transactions within seconds using one’s phone. But on the flip side, technology makes it easy for people to fall prey to online banking scams. Scammers typically exploit credit and debit card users or people having payment applications on their phones. So, those using online banking should be wary of such scams and tread with caution. Here are some common online banking scams and how to avoid them.

Phishing scams
Phishing is when scammers send text messages and emails to individuals, persuading them to share their personal details. Such details may include passwords, account numbers, one-time passwords, etc. With such information, they access one’s email accounts and bank accounts and take away their money. Sometimes, these messages or emails may also ask one to click on a link provided to complete a certain action. The person’s account is hacked the moment this link is opened. So, one should never disclose personal information over text message or email, even if the sender appears genuine. If it seems like a bank-generated message, it is best to call up or visit the nearest bank branch and check with them if they had actually sent such a message. Also, suspicious links should never be opened. It helps to download apps that detect suspicious links and notify users before they can access them.

Automatic withdrawals
Automatic withdrawals are highly convenient for users, but this technology can be misused by scammers. Typically, one receives a phone call or message, which says that the person has won a prize or is eligible for some discount. It then asks one to confirm their eligibility by reading out or sharing the numbers present at the bottom of one’s check. The scammer transfers this information onto a demand draft and gains access to money from the victim’s account. To avoid falling prey to such scams, those using online banking methods should never trust any message or call declaring them winners or eligible for an offer. Details like the numbers at the bottom of checks should never be disclosed.

Charity scams
Genuine charitable organizations do a world of good to those in need. But there are also the fake ones that mint money by taking advantage of one’s desire to give back to society. Online charity scammers call or message their victims, eliciting empathy and coaxing them to donate to a cause. The scammer not only receives the money that people donate but also their bank account details and other personal information. Genuine charitable trusts have secure websites and online presence. One should not donate to any charitable organization without a proper background check.

Malicious software or malware
Another way scammers gain access to one’s bank account and email is by infecting one’s computer with malicious software or malware. Such software can be inserted in files or documents a person downloads or added to a link or attachment in an email. When a person downloads a file or opens a link with malicious software, the hacker gains access to the individual’s bank account and other details. The best way to avoid falling prey to such scams is to download antivirus software on one’s devices. Antivirus software protects a device from viruses, malware, phishing, ransomware, etc.