South Africa: Internet fraud: Bank official urges vigilance

De Master Yoda

Internet fraud: Bank official urges vigilance

From: Daily Dispatch Online

BANK-RELATED Internet crime is the fastest growing crime in the world, according to the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric).

And consumer vigilance has become the most effective tool to fight it, said Susan Potgieter, head of Sabric’s commercial crime office.

“The Internet brings many advantages to the consumer, including easy access and unprecedented convenience for banking, shopping and many other services.

“But criminals take full advantage of that very characteristic of the Internet, which makes it so valuable to them, to commit fraud against unsuspecting people.”

It was difficult to police Internet crime because there are no physical borders, Potgieter added. “Awareness of the types of scams and frauds is therefore paramount in protecting yourself.”

She said identity theft was common and people needed to keep their computer passwords secure and change them frequently.

Also, Internet cafes should never be used for Internet banking, and banking websites should never be accessed via hyperlinks.

Criminals often gather personal information through “phishing” or spoof websites, warned Potgieter. “Phishing attacks involve spam e-mails sent to hundreds or thousands of victims, purporting to be from a legitimate financial institution and conning the victim into parting with their banking log-in or other details.

“Spoof websites imitate legitimate ones, fooling the visitor into entering their details. Spyware could also enter a computer under the pretence of being a joke, video clip or game.

“The spyware sneakily installs, gathers information and sends it back to the fraudster.”

It was crucial to install anti-virus software on all computers, she added. — Sapa