#preventing-fraud | 5 min read

How to protect yourself from banking fraud and scams

By TymeBank - 22 February, 2021

Fraudsters are known to pose as fake bank employees, convincing you to share sensitive personal information about your bank account. Here’s how to verify a real bank employee and avoid being scammed or a victim of fraud.

How to spot a fake bank employee

Your phone rings. You answer and the person on the other end of the line says they’re calling from your bank’s fraud department. Your heart sinks as they tell you that funds have fraudulently been taken from your account. Your money’s gone.

Except it’s all a scam, and your money is still safe and sound.

Scammers know how panicked we become when we hear that our bank accounts have been emptied. They use that panic to add urgency to the call – it’s difficult to think clearly because it feels like every second counts. So when the person pretending to be from your bank’s fraud department asks you to confirm a few of your details for the funds to be returned to your account, you’ll hand them over without thinking twice.

How scammers work

Voice phishing, or ‘vishing’, is a type of criminal phone fraud. The ‘visher’ is a fraudster who sounds trustworthy because they come prepared. They’ll set up fake social media profiles, befriend you, track you and may even pretend to be from your bank or cellphone provider. They do all this to make sure that by the time they have you on the phone, they know a lot about you. They also speak the bank’s lingo and will call from a number that looks similar to your bank’s number.   

In some cases, you may even receive an official-looking SMS that says your bank’s fraud department will soon be calling you, making the phone call appear even more authentic. These scam artists are serious about what they do and will go to great lengths to make you believe them.

Fishing for passwords and PIN codes

Once the scammer has you on the phone and has convinced you that there’s been fraudulent activity on your bank account, they’ll walk you through a few steps to supposedly verify yourself and your account details, but all they’re really doing is retrieving the info they need to scam you. Take note, they will ask for information that should never be shared with anyone, including:

  • Updating or confirming your bank account number, password and PIN over the phone
  • Confirming personal details, including your ID number and home address
  • Confirming your One Time Pin (OTP) over the phone to have the funds returned to your account

Five tips to protect yourself against fake bank employees

As a digital-first bank, TymeBank has every layer of protection possible to keep your bank account safe. This is why scammers will go to such great lengths to access your bank account details, logins and bank cards. They need that information to access your account.

We’ve got you covered from a technology perspective but you have a duty to safeguard your PIN, password and other unique means of identification such as your ID number to protect your account and prevent fraud. Here’s how you can keep scammers away from your personal details:

1. Be vigilant

TymeBank will never ask you for account details, PIN numbers, passwords or One Time Pins (OTPs) over the phone, via email or via social media. You PIN, passwords and OTPs should never be sent to another person and we won’t ask you to update your personal information via links sent via sms or email.

2. Come straight to us

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from TymeBank and you are asked for sensitive personal information you don’t feel comfortable sharing, end the call and either call us on 0860 999 119 or visit one of our ambassadors at a Pick n Pay or Boxer store for advice.

3. Double check details

If you are contacted, ask for the details of the person who is calling you and verify them with the bank – rather be safe than sorry. If you are receiving a call from a legit TymeBank employee, they will understand your caution, and they will not push or rush you.

4. Don’t use social media for banking

We do not believe that social media is the place to do financial transactions. Make sure you’re only connecting with TymeBank’s legitimate social media accounts:

Don’t accept friend requests or messages via Facebook Messenger from people you don’t know. TymeBank will never ask for your banking details via social media.

5. Don’t share too much information publicly

While social media offers a convenient way for customers to engage with banks, be careful of how much information you post on a platform that is visible to everyone. Scammers will spot this information and possibly use it as a reason to call you, i.e. to help you resolve the problem you are experiencing. Rather DM us or use a different way to contact us directly when you need help.

What to do if you have been scammed

If you believe you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact us immediately on 0860 999 119 to block your bank account or deactivate your digital banking profile. Immediately change your PIN and password if you believe that this information has been shared with the scammer. This can be done via the app or internet banking.

Please regularly check your bank statements to ensure there’s no suspicious activity on your account, and contact us immediately if you’re unsure about a transaction.

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