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Friday, August 19, 2022

Banking customers urged to be wary of scammers

An increasingly worrying trend, that is beginning to develop as banks and customers work to link their Ghana cards to their bank accounts, has been the activities of fraudsters and scammers.

These fraudsters have adopted a modus operandi where they are creating fake links and web pages or hacking into bank systems to gather critical customer data that they use for fraud.

Reports indicate that several banks might be vulnerable to increasingly sophisticated attacks, where scammers create links that are similar to genuine bank links. These links are then used to harvest debit card numbers and unique codes and then used to undertake online purchases on the blind side of customers.

Speaking during an interview, Mr. Felix Awuku, Executive Director-Operations at the Universal Merchant Bank, noted that customers must be very careful about the responses they give when they receive communication regarding their bank accounts or any business with their banks.

Typically, when in doubt, he urged customers to contact their relationship managers or the  Bank’s contact centres to verify.

He further noted that UMB, like most banks under the Ghana Association of Bankers, takes information security very seriously and has put in place measures that have largely curtailed the activities of these fraudsters.

The fraudsters have however responded with more sophistication in terms of their social engineering,  and it was important for customers to have a heightened sense of awareness about these risks, he said.

“What we now see is the vulnerability of point of weakness not being necessarily technical, but lapses in the behaviours or security awareness of the human element-staff or customer”.

Some key tips Mr. Awuku and other information security experts have urged include:

  1. Do not share your password under any circumstances.
  2. As a general rule, do not open websites that do not have “https” prefix
  3. Do not undertake any transactions online that do not typically have an OTP (One-Time-Password) or two-factor authentication.
  4. Do not click on links that are sent to you via whatsapp or SMS from unknown sources
  5. Typically, your bank will never ask for your card number and CVV numbers (the 3 numbers at the back of your card)
  6. Ensure your bank calls you for verification for all major transactions on your account.
  7. Beware of calls purportedly from banks or telco’s that promise fantastic promo rewards.
  8. Always use a password configuration that is alphanumeric and includes symbols.
  9. If in doubt of any communication from your bank, call your relationship manager or your banks contact-center.
  10. Monitor the transactions on your bank account and report any suspicious transactions.
Universal Merchant Bank

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