Traditional scams that escalate at this time of the year
Nothing keeps die-hard criminals at bay. Now, more than ever we have to be vigilant and safeguard our hard-earned money. Here are three traditional scams that escalate at this time of the year:
1. Vishing scams
Someone pretending to be from the bank will call you. They will then ask you to update or verify your banking details. Very often, they will tell you that they are from the fraud department of the bank and that money has fraudulently been withdrawn from your account. They will explain that they urgently need to confirm all your details so that the money can be returned to you. By now, you are in a state of panic — and it is at this stage that you would normally give all your details, including your pin.
These criminals are so brazen and so clever, that they will even go as far as to ask you to call them back to confirm that you are actually speaking to someone from the bank. Sophisticated fraudsters will then have that call diverted to the bank’s real call centre — but by then it is too late. They have all of your details already.
2. Phishing scams
This is the email version of the telephone vishing scam. Fraudsters will send you emails which claim to come from a bank or a reputable email service provider. The email will sound urgent. It will most likely say that you have to follow their instructions immediately as you have been a victim of fraud. Then they will ask you to click on a link in the email.
Once you do that, you are taken to a fake website. Of course, the website is designed so well that you can’t easily see that it’s fake. Here is where true crime happens. Once they have you on their fake site, they will ask you to share your login or banking details. When they have captured this information, they can defraud you — stealing your money or identity.
3. SMSishing scams
SMSishing, also known as smishing or SMS phishing, is similar to vishing and phishing — but uses SMSes to scam you. Here they will send a link to you via SMS, but follow the same methods of trying to get your personal details. Do not click on SMS links unless you trust the sender to.
Your bank will never ask for your account details, password, ATM pin or OTP (one time pin) via phone, email or SMS. Never.
No one can afford to lose money to scams and conmen. Be vigilant and rather be safe than sorry.