First National Bank Warns of Banking Scam Targeting Online Shoppers

First National Bank (FNB), a financial service firm, has urged its customers to look out for fraudsters who might scam them. In this regard, the firm urged users to rely on trustworthy and secure merchants when getting products and services online. This warning comes when online shopping and e-commerce have hit a peak because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Chris Labuschagne, the chief executive for FNB card, the bank had recorded an increase in fraud cases, where the suspects are mainly online shoppers. Over the past few months, FNB stated that several unsuspecting online customers had fallen victim.

In the announcement , FNB also laid out the hackers’ procedure to defraud online shoppers. They mainly use enumeration and account testing where the fraudster will create an automated script or software. This will attempt to complete a transaction or a payment, and an online shopper who provided their banking details loses money.

The FNB team added that they had installed fraud detection measures to prevent their customers from such attempts. Once a merchant is flagged for fraudulent activities , they are immediately blocked. Nevertheless, FNB urged customers to remain vigilant and look out for fraudsters, whose means of operation keep changing.

Trish Ramdhani, the head of the fraud division at FNB Card, stated that the only way customers can reduce the risk of falling victim to these fraudsters was to use trusted e-commerce sites. The best way of doing this is shopping on sites that have a great reputation over the years.

Ramdhani also gave customers several tips that could help them to identify easily whether a website is secure. They can achieve this by looking for the “https” word in the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or looking for the padlock symbol on the URL.

The other tip she provided was for customers to use the Virtual FNB Card when shopping online to reduce the risk of being scammed by fraudsters. “Our Virtual Card has a dynamic Card Verification Value (CVV) security number that changes every hour. Furthermore, our customers can temporarily block, cancel or replace their FNB or RMB Private Bank cards via the FNB or RMB Private Bank Apps if they suspect fraudulent activity,” Ramdhani added.

FNB also gave a detailed list of safety precautions that online shoppers need to take. These precautions can be followed by shoppers who want to protect themselves and protect their card details from being accessed by fraudsters.

Shoppers using e-commerce platforms are cautioned against following links sent to them on emails or visiting third party websites. As a measure of extra precaution, a shopper is advised to type in the URL address in the search bar to ensure they are using the authentic website and not a copycat site that is phishing for information.

Another best practice when shopping online is never to share sensitive details such as passwords and PINs with anyone, not even the merchant. Customers also need to note that banks do not ask for you to process transactions that involve reversing fraud. Banks will also never ask for sensitive and confidential details about you, your account or your card. Hence, a person who asks for details such as your banking password online is a fraudster .

If you are a regular online shopper, you need to ensure that you regularly go over your bank statements. Be thorough to ensure you do not miss anything related to an unauthorized transaction.

Fraudsters can also use software hacks on your device to access your banking details. To this effect, you need to ensure that you have genuine anti-virus software on the devices you use to shop online. Conducting regular malware scans will also ensure you are not missing any crucial details.

You should also refrain from sending emails containing sensitive banking details such as your account number and card number. Avoid using public Wi-Fi when shopping online or when linking your card details to an e-commerce site. You should also only provide card details as the last step of the purchase process.

Ramdhani also added that as part of their customer responsibility, the platform would continue educating customers on staying away from fraudsters. FNB customers are advised to always lookout for new ways that fraudsters are inventing. “More importantly, we urge consumers always to protect their personal information and to use any of our banking interfaces to report any suspicious transactions on their bank accounts immediately,” Ramdhani added.