Financial Education

keep your money safe from scammers

Protecting your banking information is an essential part of protecting your money. If you’re not aware of the risks, it can be easy for criminals to convince you to share sensitive information.

Article Image

To try and get access to your money, criminals work hard to trick you into sharing information with them. Although methods may differ, the goal will be to convince you that they are who they say they are. They do this to gain your trust and to convince you that it's safe to share your information with them. They may pretend to be from your bank, a cellphone network provider or even from the government.

Here are 4 common cons, and how to protect yourself against them.

1. Vishing

Many victims are caught off guard with this tactic. A fraudster phones you, pretending to be a bank official or service provider. Their aim is to mislead you into giving them confidential information. They might claim you have outstanding debts. They may even threaten you with arrest if you don’t co-operate and pay back money.

Your bank or service provider will never threaten you with arrest. If something looks or feel suspicious, hang up. Contact your bank or service provider and check if it was a legitimate call. Chances are, it won’t be – banks will never ask you for personal information over the phone.

2. Smishing

SMS phishing or 'smishing' is when criminals send you a text claiming to be from your bank (or another institution you recognise and trust). In the text they ask for personal information, such as your PIN number.

They could also send you a text that includes a link. Fraudulent links could take you to a ‘spoof’ website (a replica of a trusted website) that asks for your sensitive banking information.

3. Phishing

This is an email scam where an official-looking email contains a link to a spoofed website, and asks for sensitive banking information. This information goes straight to criminals who can use it access your real bank account. To avoid these scams:

  • Check the email address. Often, while these emails might look like they come from an institution, the email address is a giveaway (it could be a gmail address, or may not include the name of the business or institution)
  • Check for spelling errors, or errors in the company name or logo
  • Be very careful about what links you click on in an email. If you need to visit your bank’s website, don’t click on a link sent from an email. Instead, type the URL into your browser, or login to your app
  • If you aren’t sure about an email, check with the institution directly

4. Social media scams

While platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are fun for connecting with friends and family, they also attract criminals looking for information.

To protect yourself, check that your privacy settings only allow your friends and connections to view your online profiles. Criminals can use public social media information to make their fraudulent SMS, phone call or email seem more trustworthy. For instance, if someone knows your middle name and your birthdate, it may convince you that they are from a trusted institution.

Be on high alert if someone contacts you on social media to ask you for a favour or for money. To convince you to part with your money or personal information, criminals may use different strategies. For example, sending you a forceful or threatening message or a caring and sincere message.

Was this article helpful?

you may also like...

View All Other Articles View All
financial action plan: include your children

financial action plan: include your children

Your children may have new questions or worries about money as they see things change around them due to the impacts of lockdown. Teaching them money skills and strategies can help to reassure them, keep them busy at home, and set them up for the future.

Read More
money reboot: sort out your paperwork

money reboot: sort out your paperwork

Getting your important paperwork in order is essential to have a clear view of your money. It will also protect you and your family from stress and risk in the case of an emergency.

Read More
3 ways to bank safely from your phone

3 ways to bank safely from your phone

Cellphone banking allows you to bank on-the-go, any time – but criminals are always looking for ways to scam you into giving them access to your cellphone. The good news is that if you're careful about a few key things, banking on your phone can be very safe.

Read More
Upskill for a changing world

Upskill for a changing world

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and work. Develop your skill set to keep up with changes, invest in your financial security and take advantage of new opportunities that may come your way.

Read More
View All Other Articles

browse more articles

Related Articles All Articles