MyMoney Online

Cyber Crime is a growing reality cautions financial coach

The Standard Bank Scam is estimated at R300 million involving 14000 transactions at ATMs in just a few hours in 7-Eleven stores throughout Japan.

It was conducted with precision, using “mules” to make the many withdrawals which were just under the right limits using data accessed from the bank. The criminals found a badly protected ATM network in a low risk country guessing that the fraud analytic software would not automatically block the transactions.

We don’t know if the information was hacked or if it was an inside job.

What we do know is that cyber-crime is very real and all of us are exposed to it. In our high tech world, our personal information is on record. Think of how many establishments hold your ID number and banking details: SARS, the bank, store accounts, DSTV, and many more.

So what can we do about it?

Very little. All you can do is manage your own space when it comes to giving out your information.

Perhaps, as a general rule, you should only give out information if you make contact with an establishment and then are asked for verification details. If however, you are contacted, then caution should prevail as you do not know how authentic the caller actually is.

Develop an attitude of ‘someone is always watching you’ and waiting to pounce on every opportunity to steal your money just at the time when you let your guard down.

Report suspicious activities quickly to the fraud department of the relevant provider.

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