Scammers will go to any length to beat any security system. However, this simple guide ensures that you stay one step ahead.
One of the fastest growing crimes in Nigeria
You might think Identity Theft doesn't exist in Nigeria but, think again. With the growing embrace of electronic channels - e-banking, ATMs, Internet purchases e.t.c., I believe you will agree that Identity theft is here and real. However, it is tempting to think that Identity Theft only affects other people. Yet so many people are falling victim every year. Anyone could be next.
So what is identity theft?
Identity theft is simply the theft of your personal or financial details. These details can be used by criminals to impersonate people, open bank accounts, obtain credit or even set up businesses.
Once your details are stolen, you could become a victim of Identity Fraud.
Identity Fraud - what to look out for
- Bills, invoices or receipts addressed to you.
- Letters from solicitors or debt collection agencies.
- Letters or statements for bank accounts you did not open.
- Transactions appearing on your bank statements (usually withdrawals) that you do not recollect.
- Missing identification documents like your passport, driver's license, or financial documents like utility bills or bank statements.
What can you do?
Always keep your personal details secure.
If you suspect Identity Fraud, contact the bank or the card issuer immediately. Call the telephone number on the bank statement.
A Trojan gift - by email
Phishing (pronounced 'fishing') is a technique employed by criminals to get hold of your personal information. Phishing typically happens when criminals send convincing looking but fraudulent emails. They have been known to use phone contact.
These emails are often sent to thousands of individuals - in the hope that some will be conned into supplying personal information. This may include usernames, email addresses, passwords, bank account, and credit card details.
This technique convinces potential victims to enter details on a fake website - which often seems to come from a legitimate organization.
Look out for phishing emails that contain...
- Casual or informal wording that's not in the normal style of an email from a legitimate company.
- Familiar language or tone but poor grammar and spelling.
- "Verify your account" request - Banks will never ask you to enter full account details, passwords or PINs onto a website.
- 'There is a secure message waiting for you' - these messages work by putting the emphasis on reading a message, not your actual account. However, the link in the email will still ask for your personal account details
- 'If you don't respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed' - such messages convey a sense of urgency that can make you respond immediately without thinking. Phishing emails might even claim that your response is required because your account may have been compromised
- 'Click the link below to gain access to your account' - sophisticated email messages can contain links or forms that you may fill out just as you would do on a legitimate website.
A scammer"s objective is to be deceitful and appear very sensible and realistic.
Get-rich-quick schemes, deceptive competition scams, fake lotteries are just some of the means of deceiving people; also be mindful of the fact that they can be initiated from any part of the globe.
Money transfer agent
Criminals need a "money transfer agent' (or) to launder the funds obtained as a result of fraudulent activity.
Receiving an email offering a one-off or series of payments in exchange for providing their account details is not unusual when this technique is being used.
After being "recruited" by the fraudsters, funds are transferred to the "money transfer agents" account. The fraudsters will then withdraw the money and send overseas using a wire transfer service, less a certain commission payment.
Money transfer agents are recruited by a variety of methods, including spam emails, adverts on genuine recruitment web sites, open adverts to people telling them to make available their CVs online, instant messaging and adverts in newspapers.
This type of scam targets the unwary and could help third parties to conceal the fact that these funds are the proceeds of crime.
Avoid becoming a money mule
- Never respond to or become involved in any such request, no matter how attractive the payment terms.
- Remember - assisting a criminal transfer of monies to another account could make you subject to criminal investigation, which may lead to your prosecution.
Have you ever received an email or letter which offers a large reward if you help to transfer a large amount of money?
The email or letter will often say that the money has come from bribes, government accounts or the unclaimed money from someone who has recently died. The fraud works by asking you to hand over your bank details - and pay an 'advance fee' in order to complete the deal. The fraud may call the advance fee a tax, or even a bribe.
However, if you pay the advance fee, you will receive nothing in return - and there is no hope of having your money returned.
How to spot new scams
Before responding to an email, fax or letter, think carefully about what you are being invited to do and look out for the following signs:
- You may be asked to call a premium rate phone number to collect a prize.
- A scam will usually offer you something for nothing, when you have had no previous correspondence or involvement.
- There will often be a post office box number in the contact address.
- You get an 'opportunity' to earn easy money in exchange for an up-front cash fee.
- The scam may involve payment being made to an unconnected party in a different country.
- You may notice poor spellings and grammar.
Scams - our advice
Stop and think! Remember, if an offer appears to be too good to be true, it usually is. Report details of any suspected scam to the bank or card issuer.
How we protect you
What we are doing to keep you safe
At Diamond Bank we take security very seriously. We have invested in a host of measures and technologies that help protect you and your money.
Fraud detection systems
We might contact you if we spot a suspicious transaction on your account because we guard against fraud.
It is impossible to exhaust everything on our checklist; we generally look out for unusual patterns. This could mean transactions which are higher than the average on your account, or spending in countries which have been linked to fraud in the past.
Log in security
We have two levels of authentication - the first level is before you login to your account while the second level of authentication is initiated only when a transaction is about to occur. If a fraudster was able to record or see the responses you entered, they would still find it difficult to gain unauthorized access to your account.
When you log in to our online services, the system will constantly monitor what you do and log you off, if it senses you're inactive. This helps you stay protected if other people can access your computer.
Temporarily disabling your online account
If a fraudster has some, but not all of your security details, they may try to guess the rest. That's why we will temporarily block your account if someone makes too many failed attempts to log in.
But don't worry if you've simply forgotten some of your security details. Simply follow the instructions on screen to regain access to your account.
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