I got an e-mail message from a distressed subscriber recently, I’m going to quote him below:
“guday david. how is your biz and your family? Dav, it is yet another set back to me . my savings account with 1st bank was totally emptied by the A T M fraudsters last week. i am presently with no money. please, if you can help me send life line. thanks
Now I seriously don’t know how he gave away his PIN/Banking details so easily, but…
…from my experience, these guys use email extractors to extract your email addresses from forums, social network and the various websites you visit which you must have probably used your email address to register on.
Now once they’ve gathered these email addresses, they go ahead to build a fake website which is called a phishing website. These websites usually have the look, feel and little functionality of the site they intend to impersonate. But it doesn’t take a genius to figure out it’s a completely hoax, but to my amazement people still fall for it which of course I wouldn’t blame them.
Here are some precautions to guard yourself from falling victim to these scumbags:
1. Open a new email account solely dedicated to your bank account, and never use it anywhere else online. This ensures you don’t even get any emails from anybody else. The reason why you receive SPAM in the first place is because you’ve mentioned your email address on one website or another.
2. Don’t update your banking details online. I’m not aware of any Nigerian bank that sends email with a link asking you to update one thing or the other via the internet. If there’s any changes or corrections that need to be taken care of, simply walk into the bank.
3. If you’ve submitted your financial and ATM details to one of these phishing websites, quickly run to your bank to complain and get it fixed before they wipe your account clean, that is if they’ve not done so already.
4. Don’t ever ask anybody to help you out on ATM machine. I can’t stress this enough, I see people doing this everyday. I mean why would you entrust your financial details to a complete stranger? If there’s something you do not understand while using the ATM or if you have any question whatsoever, always contact the security men who are readily available and glad to help you out. I wouldn’t put much trust in the security men themselves, so use your discretion.
5. Do not disclose your PIN to anybody, I can’t believe people do this. Not even your close friends, siblings, parents, spouse, etc. Well maybe your spouse or parents, that’s totally up to you. But as far as my banking details are concerned, nobody else has access no matter the type of bonding or trust.
6. Don’t just drop your card carelessly around your home. I’m guilty of this too, but I’ve learned, and you should too.
7. If you must use your ATM card to pay for goods and services online, ensure you do that on credible websites. These can often be identified by:
a. A locked golden padlock at the bottom right corner of your browser window.
b. An unbroken key symbol at the bottom right corner of our browser window.
c. A site with a URL that starts with ‘https’.
8. Don’t send your brother or friend to withdraw money for you using your ATM. You’d be surprised how many people do this. If you’re too busy to go get money yourself, issue a check instead.
Those are just some tips I could come up with, I’m sure there are lots of other protective measures I left out, you can simply add them using the comment box below.