Never you update bank details on the internet.
They say everything that has advantage, will definitely possess one or two disadvantages.The case of internet cannot be an exception.
No doubt, internet has positively transformed several operations regarding information processing, storage, dissemination, retrieval and research exercise thereby developing the entire world economy.
Gone were the days for instance when postal service mails (also known as slow mails) used to get to a destination of about 500 kilometers in 30 days or more, can you imagine what the economy was suffering at that time?
Businesses were also moving at snail speeds, consequently giving rise to sluggish economic growth resulting in poverty and stagnation across the nations.
Indeed the superlative advantages of the internet revolution cannot be over emphasized.
However, just the way individuals and companies’ lots keep moving from one better growth level to the other due to the positive contributions of internet usage, same way individuals and organisations loose income to internet fraud stars which most times result in some establishments getting liquidated and families suffering the after effects of joblessness .
There are several techniques and methods employed by internet scammers to defraud unsuspecting individuals.Some of the methods include unethical hacking, spamming, Phishing,scamming, virus, use of warms etc.
We are particularly interested in Internet Phishing today as our topic above relates to it, while I find time to treat others much later.
This is the art of sending fictitious emails or requests to unsuspecting public demanding them to update bank details like passwords, Automated Teller Machine(ATM) and credit cards pins, social security, bank account details that the legitimate establishments already have in possession of with the aim of defrauding the said public.
The criminals achieve this by sending spam messages around.
Beginning with Spam, Spam entails flooding the internet with multiple copies of a particular message with the aim of compelling people to have them and possibly revert to the senders so they can be scammed or swindled. Hence scamming means swindling someone or company.
Please note, not all spam messages are targeted at defrauding people, some could just be advertising messages, however, our interest at the moment is on the very ones aimed at defrauding the masses.
A spam message could be on any topic depending on the area the creator believes he could easily reach out to people through.
Often than not, the most rampant and dangerous among them involves the banking sector.
Spam mails are often broadcast to unsuspecting public asking them to update their bank details lest their accounts be disabled. The spammers often scare people with intimidating headlines like “you are about to lose your bank account with us if you fail to update your account details through the following link immediately”. They will now attach a link . Sometimes the link may appear authentic like this one https://citybank.com/accountupdate. But remember the actual web address you will be directed to is different by the time you click on the address. They do all these with the aim of retrieving their victims’ confidential details and phish on them.
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See below samples of such spam mails.
In Fig. 1 above, you will notice the sender’s field shows that the mail is from ZenithDirect, however if you point your cursor to it, you will discover the tool tip shows a different email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org as the originator of the email with a different email domain, not that of Zenith Bank.
That’s number 1 evidence that its a fake email.
Secondly,if you take a look at the same Fig.1 image you will see asterisk with red ink, that link that says Follow this reference to START VALIDATION/REGISTRATION should you click on the link, it will direct you to their fake website where you will be asked to fill in your security and other personal details. Meanwhile if you computer system is well secure it might throw up a red alert warning you of the site you are heading towards. See Fig.2 below
Note: Anytime you see this alert message coming up in your computer, stop, do not proceed to the said site as it may constitute some dangers to your presence on the web or even to your PC.
To an ordinary internet user, that may be a correct link, but on probing it you will discover that it’s not the valid website address as it will redirect you to a fake web location that may have been cloned to look exactly like the bank’s original website.
You will be asked in the site to update your details such as credit card name, card number, pin, expiry date , sometimes they even ask for internet banking login details. Should you unknowingly provide the details, in a matter of minutes they will login to your bank account or credit card accounts and illegally transfer your funds to their personal accounts at that point the fraud is achieved.
Therefore to avoid been phished or scammed, observe the following tips.
Safety Tips on Securing your online Bank Details
- The moment you notice such emails, delete them, don’t even click the url (link).
- Keep all your card and internet baking details safe and secure
- Avoid using public computers (cyber cafes, friends computers, school library computers etc.) to access your internet bank account because most of the browsers cache your logging details and when you are gone, someone can still login to your account even after you have signed out.
- Secure your personal computers from unwanted access.
- Always point your cursor to detect the email source and be sure its from an authentic sender.
- Do not write your passwords or pins in diaries, mobile phones or software documents. Try to memorise them.
- Change your passwords and pins regularly.
- The moment you suspect someone knows your password or pin change it without delay.
- Don’t send people to help you withdraw money using your credit cards or automatic teller machines(ATMs).
- Give a standing instruction to your bank account manager not to honour or approve any online money transfer from your account except you follow it up with a telephone call to him/her for notification.
- Always go physically to your bank location to update your bank details and not online.
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Remember, you are the first line of security in keeping your online business safe by first preserving all your personal online details.
We will like to hear from our readers either by way of sharing your experience on the issue or advise as the case may be. Let’s all join hands together to make the world a better place.