Protect Yourself From Fraud and Scams and Bank With Confidence
Published on January 23, 2023
We all enjoy the convenience of online banking to pay bills, check account balances, monitor spending and send money to friends using our computer or mobile phone. The latest technology makes it possible to handle most of our banking from home, while on vacation, travelling for work – from just about anywhere, any time of day.
Did you ever stop to think for a moment about what happens “behind the scenes”? Digital banking is made possible by complex software programs and interfaces that send encrypted electronic data between computers to verify your log in credentials, access your accounts, show you your account information on screen and understand commands like paying a bill or transferring funds.
We’ve invested in digital banking technology to provide a secure online and mobile banking experience you can trust. The security of your accounts is our top priority. It should be your top priority, too.
The advances in technology that enable us to do so much online come with risks. Cybercriminals are always online, too, constantly searching for opportunities to hack into your account and take your money to pay for their spending sprees. They steal personal information to get fake credit cards or apply for a car loan in your name. If this happens, it can be scary and frustrating and take countless hours of your time to file fraud reports, try to get your money back and repair your credit.
That’s why it’s so important to take action to protect yourself and enjoy more control over your finances.
- Create strong passwords. Use a random combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols that are not easy to guess. Use the longest password possible. Don’t use passwords based on personal information like your birthday, address or phone number. Avoid using words out of the dictionary. For example, instead of the word “happy”, use “MFMmeH!” for [M]y [F]amily [M]akes [me] [H]appy!”. Never share your password with anyone and change it frequently.
- Set up account alerts. It’s easy to set up your online banking account to send you notifications by text or email when there is activity in your account. For instance, you can request an alert every time more than $50 is withdrawn from your account, or when a purchase is made with your debit card. If you know about and authorize the transaction, the alert gives you peace of mind that your account activity is being monitored and you can go on with your day. If you don’t recognize the transaction, you’ll be glad you received the alert so you can quickly report it to our Client Care Center.
- Use Card Controls. This is a great convenience and security feature now available with most debit cards. You decide how, when and where your debit card is used with the click of a few buttons when you’re logged in to your online banking or mobile banking account. For example, you can temporarily turn you card off to prevent unauthorized use if it’s lost or stolen, or if you just don’t have it with you. You can also set geographic boundaries where your card can be used, like at local grocery stores and restaurants in your neighborhood. Plus, you can set up alerts when a purchase is made above a spending limit you set.
- Sign in safely. Use dual-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible. It’s a more secure way to access your accounts because it requires more than just a user name and password. After you enter log in credentials, 2FA requires you to provide another piece of information:
- Something you know like a PIN or answers to “secret questions.”
- Something you are like a fingerprint, facial scan or voice recognition.
- Something you have in your possession, like a CVV code on a credit card or a one-time passcode sent to you via text message. Banesco Digital Token is a form of 2FA that requires you to type in a one-time digital passcode that is delivered to your smartphone. Passcodes expire within seconds making it virtually impossible for hackers to intercept them.
- Learn how to spot a scam. Fraudsters are creative! They send emails that look like they are from a person or business you know, but if you look closely at the sender’s email address the spelling might be off by one letter. Be on the lookout for messages that have misspelled words, poor grammar and incorrect punctuation because these are telltale signs of a scam. Ignore unexpected emails from someone you don’t know – don’t even open them, just click delete. If you receive a message that you’ve won a great prize, you just have to send money to cover shipping – you’ve been targeted by a scammer. Remember, Banesco USA will never send you a message asking for your account number, password or PIN.
Taking some time to be proactive now goes a long way to protect yourself and your accounts against fraud and scams.