Online banking fraud is at an all-time high and there have been more examples in the news this week. Obviously there are some really basic steps everyone can take to prevent this from happening to them, such as never revealing a password or replying to emails asking to confirm personal details. However these fraudsters are finding new and clever ways to obtain your sensitive information so here are some of the more sophisticated ones we've come across lately.
Emails from your manager or close family asking you to transfer money urgently to bank details provided. They can even be written in a very similar style to previous emails, however the giveaway is the email address they come from, as this is usually slightly different to the sender's genuine one. A good way to protect yourself is to never just reply to an email or social media message asking for money no matter how genuine you think it is, always text or call to confirm instead.
Banks often make marketing calls but would never ask for all your details or to confirm PIN numbers or passwords. If you receive a phone call from your bank and you want to check its genuine never call back using the same phone they have called you on. Often fraudsters ask you to call back if you're unsure but will have blocked your line so outgoing calls go straight to them.
Malicious software (malware) is prevalent on on-line banking channels and can control what a user sees on screen and can even take remote control of your computer. The presence of malware can be difficult to detect but typically can be spotted as a change in the log-on screen, prompts for additional information or new verification steps. If you do see any new or suspicious screens shutdown your internet session immediately and remove any Smartcards from their devices. Ensuring you have an up to date firewall and anti-virus software should also help prevent this.
PayPal and other similar money transfer platforms are a good way of securely paying and receiving funds however be vigilant for small transactions going through your bank account from these providers. Fraudsters often use bank account details to set up new PayPal accounts and will make test payments of £1 or less to start with to see how aware the account holder is. If these transactions go unchallenged they will increase the value. As online payment platforms typically use only password protection rather than a combination of password, PIN and smartcard device, it's important that strong passwords are used for these sites.
When selling online always check with your bank or payment platform that funds are cleared before releasing goods. Fraudsters often ask you to release goods on sight of a payment confirmation screen shot showing funds leaving their account however these are simple to create and often fake.