Simply keeping money in a savings account can protect your money, but only to a certain extent. It would be useful if you also inquire about bank fraud. By informing yourself, your money will be safer.
Phishing, vishing, card skimming, identity theft, and check fraud are some of the common frauds that permanently threaten the finances of unprotected people.
If you keep some key points in mind, you can avoid becoming an easy target for bank fraud. Let’s break down how you can protect your savings account.
Beware of weak passwords
If you have a weak online banking password, hackers may be able to access your account. What is a weak password? Some examples are ‘password’, ‘qwerty’, ‘123456’, etc. It can also be your name or that of a close relative, a mobile phone number, your vehicle number or a series of common numbers such as your year of birth or your wedding anniversary. These are guessable and therefore weak. Additionally, using the same password for all accounts makes you vulnerable to cyberattacks because once hackers gain access to one account, they can easily breach the security of your other accounts.
Therefore, “use unique and strong passwords for each of your online banking accounts. Use a combination of mixed-case alphabets, numbers, and special characters to create a strong password. Also, change your passwords at regular intervals. Never share your bank account password with anyone. If you have trouble remembering passwords for multiple accounts, take the help of a genuine password manager mobile app or write down the passwords in a diary and keep it in a safe place,” advises Adhil Shetty, CEO of Bankbazaar.com.
Never share your personal information with anyone
It’s not just password sharing that can put your bank account at risk. If you share your personal data and identity documents with an unknown person, you put your bank account at risk. Remember that by using your information such as date of birth, signature, wedding date, name of family members, ID, etc., fraudsters can guess the answers to your questions. security questions and hack your account.
In a recent case, an impostor contacted a person through a mobile call pretending to be a bank official. He already had all the personal details of the account holder to gain his trust. The impostor informed the person that their bank account had to be KYC done otherwise their account would be permanently blocked. To update the KYC, the caller asks the account holder to share the OTP which he will receive in a few seconds on his mobile. The person could not see that the caller was an impostor and shared the OTP. Within minutes, he received bank messages of multiple debits as all of the funds in his bank account were stolen.
Remember that bank officials never call customers to ask them to share the OTP.
Follow the Bank Security Notice
Banks usually send out security notices from time to time via email and social media. They educate customers on how they can use their accounts safely and not fall for scams. Pay attention to these notices and follow the instructions they contain at all times.
Check your bank statement and messages regularly
Monitor your bank account as it can help you immediately track any unscrupulous activity. Banks send text messages and emails to customers to alert them to transactions. A bank messages tab can help you recognize fraudulent transactions immediately and avoid losses.
Access online banking services in a secure network
Avoid using online banking transactions when accessing the Internet in a public network like hotels, restaurants, cafes, etc. Public Internet networks may not be configured for secure access to online banking channels, so that hackers can see and track any transaction occurring in such a network. In an emergency, if you accessed your bank account through the public network, try to change the password as soon as you get to a secure network.
Keep your checkbook safe
Always keep your checkbooks in a safe place and never give a slip of check (without canceling it) to anyone. Fraudsters can copy your signature to withdraw money from your bank account or perform financial transactions using your check. In some transactions such as investment in a mutual fund, you must provide a check sheet as proof of bank account. When delivering the sheet, remember to cancel it properly.
Beware when using debit cards at ATMs or POS
Have you heard of debit card cloning? Fraudsters hide skimming device in vulnerable ATMs. When you swipe your card at such an ATM, your card details are stored on the device and can be used to create a copy of your card to be used for fraudulent transactions. You can prevent cloning by not using your card at unguarded ATMs in unsafe locations. Also watch out for unusual attachments when using a POS machine.
“If you are careful and aware of various frauds, you can keep your savings account safe and secure. Despite your precautions, if you still fall prey to bank fraud, contact your bank’s customer service department immediately. Get your blocked debit card and bank account to limit further losses. In most cases, if you report bank fraud cases in time, there is a good chance that you will get your money back or minimize your losses,” says Shetty.