Online banking has made our transactions tremendously tranquil. You can always do your transactions at any time and from anywhere, be it on the couch or relaxed on the bed. On the flip side, fraudsters are gaining novel ways to attack our bank accounts in a bid to part us with our hard earned money.
Whether online doing mobile banking or physically using an ATM, you’re at risk of fraudsters and scammers. According to FBI reports, since 2020, there has been a 50% rise in mobile banking. ATMs are still being used by billions of people worldwide. This means nearly everyone is at risk. While we relish these pluses of online banking and mobile banking on our smartphones, it’s paramount to be keen and engage in ways that will keep us safe. Although scammers are cunning, the good news is that there are ways we can curb this rising threat. Read below on ways of protecting your bank account from scammers.
For Online Transactions, Keep These Five Factors In Mind:
Ensure You Make Transactions Only Via The Bank Website Or App
It should be the obvious thing to do before you undertake any online transaction, as numerous impostor sites exist to scam you. Besides, Paul Benda, the senior vice president of risk and cyber-security policy of the American Bankers Association, advises that people should always counter-check the websites they use. Mostly those indicated on the bank statements and bank cards are reputable. Ensure to bookmark them for future reference as well.
Download Certified Apps From Trustworthy Websites Only
You can avoid being caught off guard and scammed online simply by installing apps from reliable sites. The App Store or Google Play Store should be your only official sources. Remember, most deceitful events occur from those unknown app sources.
Read Through The Privacy Policies
Some people often skip reading through policies; others find it hard going through them. But for the sake of protecting your bank account, spare a little time and read through them. Remember apps will ask you to consent to access the microphone, photos, camera, and even location. So, this should not make you fret. These are some of the policies to agree upon before using the apps.
Use Unique Passwords For Each Account
Avoid the habit of using one password for every account. When a scammer hacks one password, then accessing your other accounts is made easy. Your bank or credit union account with sensitive data might be one of the accounts, so be careful. When making unique passwords, remember to use various characters types to make hacking your passwords more difficult. Be wise and protect your bank account from scammers.
Employ Two-factor Authentication
Beefing up your defense with two layers makes it harder for scammers to hack your bank account. Apart from your password, create some additional evidence of identity. It might include adding your phone number for receiving a one-time code for logging into the account.
For General Card Transactions, Ensure To Adhere To The Following:
Check The Machines
The ATM is the most vulnerable place as you can get scammers here. Scammers place a “skimmer” to read your card info while transacting. They later use the data captured to make dummy cards to access your account. So always be keen to avoid compromising your bank account. Check the ATM for:
- Tampering, scratches, and marks,
- Any loose plastics within the area,
- Stability of the ATMs as they’re well-built and always stationary.
Always report any suspicious acts to the management.
Avoid Providing Personal Information To Anyone
It is advisable to give your account information only when you initiate contact. It’s fishy to be asked for personal data by your financial institution through emails or messages. Therefore, don’t hesitate to contact your bank in case of such occurrences. Find their contacts on the back of your debit or credit card.
Regularly Check Your Account For Any Unauthorized Transaction
To continuously protect your bank account from scammers, look to ascertain whether there are any unauthorized charges. Remember to make it your habit to avoid being scammed. Besides, report to your bank any suspicious charges as sometimes these can be refunded back.
Obtain Your Free Credit Report Annually And Report Stolen Cards
It’s good to be up to date with your credit report. Make an effort to get your credit reports annually. It’s significant in realizing unauthorized accounts opened in your name. In addition, immediately report any misplaced or stolen cards to your bank or credit union. Avoid getting scammed!
Scammers have increasingly become stubborn. Protecting your bank account is the only way out. Start with a plan, and read through the tips above to be safe from scammers. Always be wary of suspicious activities so as to protect your bank account from scammers!