Is your Online Bank Account at Risk?
What are phishing emails? Can they compromise the security of my online banking account?
“Phishing” emails are one of the major problems to the online banking clientele. Hackers and scammers use “phishing” emails to get details from bank customers. They will use email to appear as a bank representative and ask you for important information. To get you to respond quickly they will generally try to persuade you that your account will be closed if you do not email them right away. But the moment you do, they will use this information to empty your account.
You may be thinking when you read about “phishing” scams, how in the world anyone could fall for such an apparent swindle- and of course you can’t picture it occurring to you. The world over, millions of people download “phishing” emails every day and there always some who answer. Most people respond because they really believe that their “account will be closed” as mentioned in the email. Threats like that make many people act fast and think only when it’s too late.
All online banking services have it on their websites in one form or the other “Warning we will never ask you for your personal information or passwords by email or through phone”. People are tricked because the emails are well written and seem very professional, just like something a bank would send out, but they are actually fake. Remember, if for any reason your bank does contact you about your online account, they will never ask for personal information. If whoever calls does asks for information of a confidential nature, they are not who they say they are.
The oddest thing about these emails is that they actually use people’s worries of being exposed to fraud. Some include comments stating that you will be a victim of fraud if you do not update your account.
Not all emails from companies are attempts at “phishing”; some are legitimate. But if you get an email asking for sensitive information, there is high probability that it is fraudulent, so do not answer it. Either delete it or report it to your bank.