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Fraudsters are relentless in their pursuit of finding sophisticated, malicious techniques to outsmart the existing authentication controls put in place to protect account information. Key logging, virus attacks and phishing scams are some of the techniques used by fraudsters. While the risk of fraud exists on all account types, many of these schemes target small and medium sized business customers. Your first line of defense is knowledge about what you, the end-user, can do to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud.
Keystroke Logging / Virus Attacks
Keylogging is a method by which fraudsters record your actual keystrokes and mouse clicks. Keyloggers are “Trojan” software programs that target your computer’s operating system (Windows, Mac OS, etc.) and are “installed” via a virus. These can be particularly dangerous because the fraudster has captured your user ID and password and anything else you have typed while online. If you are like most other users and have the same ID and PIN/Password for many different online accounts, you have essentially granted the fraudster access to any company with whom you conduct business. After all, they have your login credentials so they appear to be a valid user.
Phishing is a scam where fraudsters request personal information from users. While requests are most commonly in the form of an email from an organization you may or may not do business with, they could also be from a phone call, text message or letter. The request is made to look exactly like it came from the organization, complete with company logos and other convincing information. The request usually states that the company needs you to update your personal information or that your account is about to become inactive or frozen, all in an effort to get you to supply your information. Please remember no reputable business will ever contact you in these ways requesting that you update your personal information, including account numbers, system passwords or Social Security Numbers. While nothing is foolproof, following these guidelines as a well as having a general awareness of the potential threats will greatly reduce your risk of being a victim of faud. Commercial account holders should perform a periodic assessment of their internet banking procedures and evaluate the controls they have in place to reduce the risks they identify.
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