Keep your money safe. This is the warning from the Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BATT), following the circulation of "unauthorised text messages" which request conconfidential banking information. "These messages are fraudulent and are considered 'phishing'," BATT said yesterday.
Phishing is a type of identity theft. BATT reminded that cybercriminals create emails, texts, social media messages and pop-up windows that look legitimate. These are then used to "try and trick you into sharing confidential information" such as PINs, passwords and account numbers.
"Once they have your information, they can use it to commit fraud and take your money. The most familiar type of phishing scam is an email threatening consequences if you do not log in and take action immediately."
BATT took the opportunity to remind customers that banks will never send unsolicited messages asking for confidential information, such as passwords, PINs, Access Codes, credit card and account numbers.
BATT also advised that banks will never ask customers to validate or restore their account access through text, email or pop-up windows.
"If you have entered personal information after clicking on a link or suspect fraudulent behaviour, please call your bank immediately," BATT advised.
The following are tips provided by BATT to help customers ensure their safety and privacy:
Do be suspicious of any email message that asks for personal or financial information.
Do use passwords that are hard to guess.
Do memorise your passwords. If you absolutely have to keep them written down, make sure you store such records in a safe location.
Do consider using software password managers to secure your online banking and other sensitive passwords.
Do be cautious of telephone calls asking for your password or PIN.
Do be suspicious of unusual and high-pressure telephone calls appearing to come from your bank. If this happens, hang up and call your bank to report it.
Do shred confidential documents that are no longer required.
Don’t open attachments or click on hyperlinks in emails or text messages sent by unknown senders.
Don’t call any number that appears on an email you think is fraudulent.
Don’t share your banking passwords with anyone.
Don’t use storage media devices like jump drives or USB memory keys that you’ve found in a public place or received as a "free gift".
Don’t leave your computer, tablet or mobile device unattended when you’re logged into online banking.
Don’t just close the browser when you’ve finished banking online. Instead, always log off.
Don’t click on a link in an email or pop-up window to go to a site. Instead type the web address yourself in a new browser window to ensure you’re connecting with the legitimate company.