Cases of Bank Fraud Continue to Rise


Monday, September 3, 2018 /2:00PM / Scott O’Haire


Bank frauds have been a widespread issue for decades, and even though financial institutions are doing their best to ensure security, fraudsters are still finding ways to get around. The rise of modern technologies has made us obsessed with making our lives as easy and comfortable as possible. However, we shouldn't forget that the same surge of technology that is so helpful could also put us and our assets at risk.


While tech solutions are meant to be convenient and otherwise effective in our daily lives, cybercriminals are finding ways to use them for something completely different. It is safe to say that today for each technological advancement that can be considered a positive one, there is an equally powerful counterpart that can be used for malicious purposes.


The recent influx of AI and machine learning is not only making our lives more convenient, but it also makes cyber-attacks much more sophisticated and effective. Thanks to machine learning, malicious AI systems are now able to improve their results and implement the needed adjustments quicker based on their previous attack attempts. At the same time, AI is used to enhance financial fraud detection; however, cybercriminals aren't hesitating to exploit this technology for their devious need.


Besides the increasing tech advancements regarding cybercrime, there is another reason cases of bank fraud continue to rise - mobile banking, a feature offered to customers by the vast majority of banks. It's true that mobile banking solutions are convenient, yet it's also true that cybercrooks often take advantage of vulnerabilities within them with relative ease. With smartphone ownership growing across the globe, the target field for bad actors increases.


In fact, according to the RSA, services through banking applications resulted to 65% of digital fraud cases. What's concerning is the fact that casual users are not taking proper steps to maintain their mobile devices' security and privacy. It seems that the rate of bank frauds will continue to rise unless the public reacts accordingly. The next big challenge the cybersecurity community will be facing is educating the casual user about the importance and benefits of virtual security.


How to Prevent Bank Fraud

The most common methods cybercriminals use to conduct bank fraud include identity theft, account hijacking and the use of malware that tricks users into revealing their login credentials. Among many trends regarding fraud that exist today, the most common is identity theft. Hackers are often successful in finding creative ways to steal people's personal information and use it to access their bank accounts.


When it comes to preventing a bank fraud, the most important aspect is to focus on the security of your devices as they contain crucial information. There are a few simple, yet incredibly effective steps that you can take to improve your device's safety significantly. Start by using strong passwords; be sure to include upper and lower-case letters, symbols, and numbers when coming up with a passphrase. Furthermore, you ought to practice safe browsing habits: refrain from suspicious websites, avoid downloading email attachments that are coming your way from unknown sources, and stay away from unauthorized download sites as they are infamous for hosting software bundles, which are often embedded with intrusive and otherwise dangerous applications.


While cautions browsing practices and strong passwords are a great start, there's more. Every security-conscious user should have an antimalware tool and a VPN service running on their device whether it's a phone, tablet, laptop, or a desktop.


A reliable antimalware suite protects your device at all times. Keep in mind that such tools are designed to identify and terminate any virtual threat on the go; they also notify users about potentially dangerous sites and potentially dangerous downloads.


A VPN, short for a virtual private network, is secure communication technology. Initially designed to be used in a corporate environment, VPNs have entered the mainstream mostly due to their security features. When you use a VPN service, all the data traffic is fully encrypted, and your IP is masked. You can think of it as a technology that creates a secure tunnel between you and the internet. Thus, it's great when you need to use a public WiFi hotspot as they are notoriously unsecure and prone to man-in-the-middle attacks which are commonly used by South African scammers. In that case, it is advisable to choose a VPN provider that has servers in the region.  Additionally, with the help of a VPN service, you can even change your virtual location on the go, which in a way allows you to be in two places at one.


As much as the digital age is great, it is essential to understand that cybercrime is not going away - it's part of it whether we like that or not. Unfortunately, the prognoses are not looking good as it seems that cybercrime associated with bank fraud is only going to grow along with the rise of internet technologies. Stopping this malicious phenomenon is going to take a lot of effort. One should always remain vigilant with regard to cybercrime. Be sure educate yourself on the issue so you can stay ahead of the curve.


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