Protecting Your Bank Account from Fraudsters
Nationwide, banks and credit unions are targeted by internet fraudsters. Why? Because through a cloak of anonymity, they can take money at a much faster rate then most other types of fraud. But just how do they get into your bank account and is there anything you can do at home to stop them?
According to the security firm, RSA, internet fraudsters love the banks so much that 70% of all spear phishing campaigns are targeted at financial institutions. And the fraudsters hit banks around the globe but their #1 target continues to be? You guessed it, U.S. bank accounts.
Two Top Tools of the Trade:
Just like you know to stay away from dark alleys, I have 3 hotspots for cybercrime, or dark alleys to avoid:
Fake Ads, Email Links and Attachments
Poisoned Search Results
Phishing and Trojans -- Those are the two favorite tools of the fraudsters. You can’t stop them from phishing you or sending Trojans in your path but you can avoid them. Here’s how to avoid those dark alleys:
Avoiding Dark Alley #1: Go with a Trusted Source
Your bank will never send you an email where they ask you to click on a link and provide your account login information. Go to your bank directly at the trusted source and never through ads or emails
Avoiding Dark Alley #2: Safe Search Results
There are trojans lurking around almost every corner on the internet and one tactic is to use popular and current search terms to trick you into going to a site. Often, you may start at a legitimate site and then be enticed to hop around to the fraudsters site and then the Trojan is downloaded. There are settings in your web browser and search engines that can help you shed some light on the internet and avoid going down this dark alley.
Fight the Fraudsters With Safe Online & Offline Habits
Practice good internet safety:
Keep your operating system, anti-virus and anti-spyware software up-to-date
Report all spam emails and then delete them
It may be tempting to shop online at any site but do your online shopping only on sites that you can validate and look for secure Web pages. (Look for “https” in the URL address bar.)
Never send your user id & password, bank account login, credit or debit card information, social security numbers or personal information by e-mail.
Fighting the Fraudsters If They “Break In”
Free Alerts: Sign up for text alerts on your bank and credit card accounts. For example, anytime a new bill payee is added, address changes, or transactions over a threshold.
Free Credit Reports: Request regular credit reports from major credit bureaus, and check them carefully to help you spot fraudster transactions
McAfee offers a free safe search tool to help you avoid fraudsters:
Many banks have partnered with Trusteer to offer a free tool to help you defend your account login from fraudsters:
If you believe you are a victim of Bank Account Fraud
Seek the assistance of your bank.
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or 1-877-382-4357.
If you See a Scam or believe you are a victim of a scam
File a complaint regarding internet-related fraud with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at IC3.gov
Report scams to your state Attorney General.