Published April 24, 2020
Moving to online banking has become a necessity for many consumers during the pandemic. But it’s also becoming fertile ground for online criminals seeking to profit from the growth in online and mobile transactions—or trying to profit from the outbreak itself by presenting phony opportunities for targeted individuals to donate to or otherwise help the fight against the virus or its fallout.
From phishing emails and text messages to false withdrawal and deposit transactions –some of the tactics fraudsters are using may be alarming to some of your customers. But by promoting awareness of the risks and teaching them how to spot the signs of a fraud attempt, you can help lower their risk of being targeted and help keep their money safe.
Here are some tips to help your customers stay safer online.
The online world has seen an increase in phishing attempts since the start of the pandemic; many users are receiving emails that sound alarming or too good to be true. They typically include fake website links or requests for the customer’s banking or login credentials. More often than not, they’ll claim the email is from a real financial institution or other trusted organization. (Fraudsters might also use similar strategies offline, such as by text message or phone call.)
So, show your customers how to identify a false email: consider telling them to check for signs like a suspicious mailing address, clumsy wording or graphics, urgency in the message and/or any requests for sensitive information. Let them know they should ignore it and report it to you, perhaps using a dedicated hotline or webpage. Reassure them of the kinds of information you would and would not ask for.
Criminals may find other ways to get the information they want, without the customer knowing; they can do this through social media platforms and other websites they've accessed. With this in mind, ask your customers to check their online banking account on a regular basis.
You can have them check that their account balance looks correct, look for any transactions they don’t recognize and ask that they report any irregularities, perhaps on a dedicated hotline or webpage. Consider providing information on how to spot a fake version of your website, such as by checking that the URL is correct and asking them not to enter any sensitive data on a page that look suspicious.
As a bank or credit union, you can help by monitoring for irregular activity on your end, such as checking the location of transactions, or flagging larger than usual withdrawals and transfers. You can also consider applying stricter conditions for when a customer needs to verify that a transaction is genuine.
We’re seeing new scams emerge all the time—one includes fraudsters trying to guilt and coax people into joining fake efforts against the coronavirus. Some of the most recent scams to make your customers aware of include:
Consider asking your customers to report any suspected scams to a dedicated hotline or webpage that your bank or credit union may have. And remind them that, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.
NCR is committed to helping financial institutions keep commerce running–safely. Find out more at www.ncr.com/banking. For additional resources, tips and articles on COVID-19, visit NCR.com/coronavirus/banking.