Safeguard your financial security

07 July 2019 | Banking

Windhoek • Riaan Viljoen

We live in times where fraudsters look like neighbours and sound like friends. When it comes to private and payment card information, make sure you understand how social engineering can be used to compromise your financial security.

Fraudsters are masters in social engineering and know how to engage people in a way that creates misguided trust. It involves manipulating individuals via various channels including phone calls, email, SMS and social media to divulge confidential and / or card information.

Some social engineering scams involve sending emails that seem to come from a legitimate source, i.e. your bank, requesting confidential information, like card numbers, passwords etc. (often as part of a required “update” exercise).

This is called phishing. No bank or other financial institution will ever request information or prompt a response in this way. Pay close attention to the sender's email address. It is likely a falsification of a known email address or domain which might include subtle spelling errors such as [email protected] or [email protected]

Spear-phishing is similar to phishing, however, the attack is targeted at a specific company or person / group, and has a more personal feel to it. A mail would seem to be coming from a company head or department manager, requesting users to urgently click on a link or open an attachment. (Again, pay close attention to the sender email address and spelling). Such attacks often first acquire personal information via company web sites or social media platforms such as Facebook, to create a sense of familiarity with the intended victim.

Vishing is the voice equivalent of phishing, and is the act of fraudsters engaging victims in a friendly and helpful conversation, claiming to be from your bank and asking assistance with a mobile app upgrade, or security enhancement.

These calls will also have a sense of urgency attached to them. For example, “Your account might be compromised if you do not upgrade right now”. Fraudsters will pretend to know staff or inside information from your bank. This is the quickest way victims are lulled into trusting the authority and mandate of the caller.

Victims are requested to enter information on the mobile app, to share or forward information or to respond to a text message. Never obey instructions from a random phone call. Don't ever share the OTP (one time pin) you receive on SMS in such a conversation with the caller. These pins are triggered only when a transaction is taking place on your account. If you did not initiate a transaction, do not help to complete a transaction! As far as your card information is concerned, and only if you initiated the call, only ever share the first 6 and last 4 digits of the card number.

SMShing involves requesting victims to follow prompts on SMS or social media. This can happen independently or as part of vishing attacks. Again, no legitimate contact from any bank will request confidential information in such a manner. If you receive a suspicious or unexpected call from someone claiming to be from your bank, especially after hours, get a name and instruct the caller that you will phone them back on the official number from your bank. Obtain this number yourself.

Remind yourself that fraud is a continuing science and being aware of the various methods applied to obtain your hard earned money, you will be able to identify a fraudster easier and protect yourself against their onslaught.

• Riaan Viljoen is an Information Security Specialist at the Capricorn Group.

Similar News


Saving your ESME

1 day - 18 July 2019 | Banking

Windhoek • Mbo Luvindao Research shows that there are many reasons why Emerging Small and Medium Enterprises (ESME) fail. Though this may be due to...

Why comply?

5 days ago - 14 July 2019 | Banking

Windhoek • Njeri SiskaOften banks receive questions about why Anti-Money Laundering, Combatting Terrorist and Proliferation Financing (AML) requirements such as Know Your Customer (KYC) and...

Empowering future leaders

1 week ago - 07 July 2019 | Banking

An intensive leadership programme for Learner Representative Committee (LRC) members from high schools in Windhoek has just come to an end.Hosted by the Capricorn Group...

Cashless parking now at city mall

2 weeks ago - 30 June 2019 | Banking

Since Friday, visitors to Maerua Mall have been making use of a quicker and more convenient way to pay for parking, thanks to Standard Bank's...

Fraudsters at it again

1 month - 16 June 2019 | Banking

The Bankers Association of Namibia (BAN) has warned of new scams that fraudsters are using to steal money from unsuspecting clients.According to BAN chairperson Sarel...

SMEs: Take care of creditors

1 month - 09 June 2019 | Banking

Windhoek • Mbo LuvindaoThere comes a time in any entrepreneur’s lifecycle when situations get tough. With the persisting drought combined with a challenging economic environment,...

For more peace of mind

1 month - 02 June 2019 | Banking

FNB Namibia recently introduced an additional safety measurement called Online Secure, which requires customers to enter a One Time Pin (OTP) as confirmation that an...

Tying the knot on a budget

1 month - 26 May 2019 | Banking

As soon as you are engaged, you start thinking of your big day with the hope that it will be a memorable affair. You want...

Protecting more than your PIN

2 months ago - 12 May 2019 | Banking

Windhoek • Riaan ViljoenInitially bank cards were stolen and used at ATMs and shop check-outs or counterfeit cards were created. As a result, banks have...

A helping hand in need

2 months ago - 12 May 2019 | Banking

The FNB CARE platform ensures customer opinions are logged, heard and tracked towards resolution, as well as provide FNB the opportunity to engage with and...

Latest News

Two birds with one stone

5 days ago - 14 July 2019 | Events

On Wednesday (17 July) Colin Lindeque hosts a public talk on bush-to-feed for drought relief at the Namibia Scientific Society.Namibia currently faces two severe environmental...

Só maak Chamel 'n verskil

5 days ago - 14 July 2019 | Society

Gerine Hoff Daar is soveel mammas wat 'n behoefte het aan items vir hulle nuwe baba en dit eenvoudig nie kan bekostig nie. Om die...

Goeie opkoms vir Chryzander

5 days ago - 14 July 2019 | Local News

Gerine HoffDie gemeenskap van Rehoboth het verlede naweek kragte saamgesnoer om geld in te samel vir Chryzander Britz se ouers om hulle weer op hul...

Dams at critical levels

5 days ago - 14 July 2019 | Disasters

Windhoek • Elvira Hattingh Dams in Namibia only have 26.7% or 186 820 Mm³ (million cubic meters) of water available, compared to the same time...

'n Huis vol aapstreke

5 days ago - 14 July 2019 | People

Windhoek • Yolanda NelMet 'n behoefte aan mooi en unieke uitrustings vir kinders, teen 'n bekostigbare prys, het een mamma 'n entrepreneur geword toe sy...

Support for Omaheke conservancies

5 days ago - 14 July 2019 | Environment

The Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF) recently received a donation of N$234 000 to in support of three conservancies in the Omaheke region from First National...

Windhoek: A city for cyclists?

5 days ago - 14 July 2019 | Health

Windhoek • Lisa Plank There are no special routes for cyclists in Windhoek; cars drive carelessly, the area is mountainous and it is usually very...

Support for albinism

5 days ago - 14 July 2019 | Society

While commemorating International Albinism Awareness Day, FNB Namibia donated 250 sun protection hats valued at N$21 750 to Albino Care Support in Namibia of Albinism...

Ontluikende talent hier aangewakker

5 days ago - 14 July 2019 | Education

Altesame 160 leerlinge het in Junie aan die Bank Windhoek Skryfskool deelgeneem wat in samewerking met die ATKV Windhoek-tak aangebied is. Die skryfskool wat deur...

Load More