[BEWARE] The festive season is here and banking app kidnappings are on the rise
Lester Kiewit interviews Dr Alex Mitchell, Senior Researcher at the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC).
As we've become more and more alert of fraudsters hacking our accounts, whether it be WhatsApp or our banking profiles, they have been upping their game and taking more extreme measures.
Some of these criminals are becoming violent, holding people captive and forcing innocent victims to open their banking apps and making large monetary transfers to their designated bank accounts.
Mitchell has noticed an increase in the following trends:
- Express kidnapping: Criminals target specific victims, forcing them to withdraw funds at an ATM and grant them access to their banking apps.
- Ransom kidnapping: Money is withdrawn from the victim's accounts while ransom demands are made to their family.
- Companies or individuals who are perceived to be of great value are targeted and a family member or employee are held hostage for a period of time until ransom is paid.
The money that the criminals get access to via banking apps are then sent to a third-party account.
Although it is possible to trace the owner of the account, Mitchell says that retrieving the money is "noticeably low".
His advice is to separate the bulk of funds in an account that isn't linked to your online banking app.
Don't keep all your accounts linked into your banking profile.Dr Alex Mitchell, Senior Researcher – South African Banking Risk Information Centre
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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : [BEWARE] The festive season is here and banking app kidnappings are on the rise
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