Staying Secure

Battling Mobile Banking Fraud Amidst COVID-19

Although COVID has closed many businesses, it’s not been able to stop criminals from trying to steal your personal Mobile Banking information

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Massive strides in technology have meant greater convenience for bank account holders. Mobile banking has especially made it much easier for us to manage our finances in the palm of our hand.

Unfortunately, fraudsters have kept pace with mobile banking’s rapid development and are continually constructing ever more elaborate ways to try and part us from our money. Smartphones are like mini computers these days, and hackers use many of the same tactics to get into your phone as they would a computer.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has not been able to slow this constant fraud campaign; in fact, some of the more enterprising criminals have seen it as another opportunity for brazen acts of fraud. 

‘Smishing’ Scams Can Hijack Your Mobile

The traditional text message may seem a bit dated now, given that many people use apps like WhatsApp or chat facilities through social media, but it is still a fruitful path for banking fraud.

Because so many of us have banking information on our phones, gaining access to our smartphones’ inner working can allow fraudsters to get their hands on that information.

SMSishing usually involves a text message sent to your phone informing you that there is a problem with your bank account or credit card. It could even be something that is not directly linked to mobile banking, such as a message saying your phone bill could not be processed or that you are due a tax refund. These sorts of messages will invite you to click online to resolve the fictitious issue. 

By clicking on the link, you will then allow the third party to install malware on your phone. This is software will gain access to sensitive information on our phones, such as bank details and passwords and codes.

👉 For more information on SMShing Scams, check out our guide on how to protect yourself check out our 6 Useful Tips For Staying Secure Whilst Using Banking Apps

SIM-Jacking Your Mobile By Collecting Your Information

This is a form of identity theft and the fraudster doesn’t need to get anywhere near your mobile phone to pull it off. 

What they do is collect personal information about you, usually from your social media accounts. They can then use this information to convince phone companies to supply them with a new SIM card and have your number transferred onto it. That way, they can access all sorts of sensitive information such as email and shopping accounts.

Built-in Malware Can Influence Your Mobile Banking

With the explosion in mobile phone use over the last few decades, there has been a flood of new manufacturers coming onto the market. Some smaller manufacturers, particularly from China, have been raising concerns after discovering that they had been sold with malware already installed.

This malware has to potential to harvest personal data and steal money from online banking accounts.

Guarding Yourself Against Mobile Banking Fraud

While fraudsters can be very persistent, you can guard against fraud by taking some simple steps.

One main thing to remember is that a bank will never contact you to invite you to click a link or reveal your account details. Therefore any messages or emails you get asking you to do this should be ignored. 

Try not to reveal too much personal information on social media sites, such as your home address and phone number. You can still have fun posting pictures and chatting with friends, but make sure there isn’t too much revealing information posted.

Think carefully before buying a new phone handset. Look up reviews of particular manufacturers on consumer sites and search the company’s name on Google to see if it throws up any red flags.

Alternative Accounts with Suits Me®

Here at Suits Me®, we will only ever contact you through your email address and telephone number we have on file. We will never ask you to verify your PIN number. We have multi-layered security features for our online and mobile app, to give you peace of mind whilst managing your finances.  

Our accounts are personal e-money accounts that work similarly to a traditional bank account. You’ll gain access to your online account and our mobile app, where you’ll be able to manage your money on the go, 24/7.

We offer a whole variety of banking-like features including:

  • The ability to set up standing orders and manage direct debits,
  • Send money within the UK via a transfer, international transfers are available via a partner in the Suits Me® app,
  • Gain access to our exclusive cashback reward programme where you’ll automatically get a percentage of your money back when you use your Suits Me® debit card with our retail partners.

Opening a Suits Me® account takes 3 minutes and you’ll gain access to your online account immediately so you can start managing your money. We don’t ask for proof of address or run a credit check. We accept 99.8% of all applicants – so if you’re looking for a suitable alternative solution apply today!

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