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5 tips to secure your online banking acounts from scammers

Many say that online scams are rampant these days. There’s truth to that. If banks and financial institutions are raising their game in the fight against fraud, scammers are getting better at their job. Artificial Intelligence or AI is one of the many tools they are using to try to get an advantage: scammers can now use AI to fabricate fake IDs, forge faces and clone voices. Deepfake is what this is collectively known and it’s really scary. On the other hand, banks have gone all out by using all the tools necessary, including using AI and machine learning, to combat this. But scammers have become intelligent with their modus operandi. They’ve found 101 ways to scam the public. Thus, the consumers still have the greatest role to avoid scams or fraud. Question is, how does one do that especially in this age of modern technology? We still go back to the tried and tested methods of securing one’s financial account.

  1. Keep your account secure

Never share your log-in information. Use a strong password combination. Trust no one with your account credentials and practice changing your passwords every so often like every three months or less. In the event that someone tries to call you and asks for the one-time password (OTP) because they are an employee of your bank and wants to give you the best incentives, beware, no one in the banking world would ask that from you. Stop and do not share.

  • Be careful in accessing your account in public

Do not use unsecured Wi-Fi networks for banking, purchases or checking your emails. Be aware of shoulder surfers. Be extra careful while typing confidential information such as your account details and password on your mobile in public places. Never leave your mobile phone unattended in a public space.

  • Update your device’s security settings

Keep your mobile’s operating system and applications, including the browser, updated with the latest security patches and upgrades. Make sure your smartphone or tablet is always protected with a PIN. Do not reveal this PIN to anybody.

  • Do online shopping securely

Use only the official applications of your favorite shopping platforms. Download only from credible sources and ensure you get the legit app. And, again, avoid making any financial transactions when using a public network. Avoid transacting with online sellers. Always check the credentials of these sellers. Be wary of too-good-to-be-true offers. IF it requires an immediate deposit or an advance without you even seeing the item, STOP. Do not proceed with that transaction.

  • If you think you have fallen victim to any suspicious activity…

Report the case as soon as possible to the receiving bank. File a police report right away to have an official record of the incident. You may attach this in your report to the receiving bank. Update your login credentials, especially your banking apps, and immediately change your password. Get in touch with DICT-CICC or Scam Watch Pilipinas– call their hotline 1326. Time is of the essence here. Do not wait for the next day. Report and do the actions recommended as soon as you can.

Losing our hard-earned money hurts a lot. What even hurts more is our ego because someone was able to scam us. Scams are everywhere and they have evolved. Don’t be part of the statistics. Be smart, be mindful and be doubtful.