Whenever people are buying more, it’s an opportunity for criminals to strike, which makes Black Friday a dangerous time. With new scams on the rise, FICO’s fraud experts have added new tips for staying safe, taking the total to 16.
Take Care at ATMs
If an ATM looks odd, or your card doesn’t enter the machine smoothly, consider going somewhere else for your cash.
Never approach an ATM if anyone is lingering nearby. Never engage in conversations with others around an ATM..
If your plastic card is captured inside of an ATM, call your card issuer immediately to report it. Sometimes, you may think that your card was captured by the ATM when it was later retrieved by a criminal who staged its capture. Either way, it is best to arrange for a replacement card as soon as possible.
Be Safe Online
If you experience anything odd on a website, look for another place to shop. If you’ve already paid and later become suspicious that you may have been tricked, let your bank know.
Watch out for emails promising amazing bargains. Rather than click on a link in an email or SMS, go to the site itself. Hackers can even spoof websites, so make sure you’re shopping on the actual site.
If you’re setting up a new account with a website, use a strong password you haven’t used before.
If your online merchant offers enhanced security features such as step-up-authentication or soft token, please be sure to opt in.
Don’t make a direct payment to an online seller or other e-commerce merchants (such as Lazada or eBay) from your bank account, because you won’t be protected in case the promised goods don’t arrive. Ideally, you should be paying via credit card or third party payment services that have buyer protection.
Check Your Purchases
Check your card transactions frequently, through your online banking and your monthly statement.
Work with Your Financial Institutions
If your financial institution offers enhanced security features such as step-up-authentication OR soft token, please be sure to opt in.
Update your address and cell phone information for every card you have, so that you can be reached if there is ever a critical situation that requires your immediate attention.
Ask your card provider if they offer account alert technology that will deliver SMS text communications or emails to you if fraudulent activity is suspected on your payment card.
Ask your card issuer for a new card number if you suspect that your payment card may have been compromised. It’s important to change both your card number and your PIN whenever you experience a potential theft of your personal information.
Watch Out for Social Engineering
If you get a call from someone who says they’re from your bank, and you feel suspicious, hang up and call your bank directly. Your bank will never ask you for your password. Criminals know people are worried about fraud in the holidays and may take this opportunity to try to get you to divulge information.
If you get a request to pay someone from your bank account, make sure that you know who you are paying and that their request is legitimate. Be wary of emails or texts that tell you that there has been a change of bank account number for a person or business you are expecting to pay — if in doubt, pick up the phone and confirm that they have changed their bank account details. Criminals are exploiting these direct payments by masquerading as contractors you do business with, and if you make the payment you may be liable.
Don’t Become a Money Mule
If someone offers you money to use your bank account to transfer money through, don’t do it. This is money laundering and they are recruiting you to be a money mule. Engaging in money laundering can have serious consequences (in Singapore, the maximum jail time is up to 10 years) and could prevent you from having bank accounts, loans and mortgages well into the future. Make sure that you talk to your children about this trend so that they can avoid getting involved in criminal activity.
Getting Smarter in the Fight Against Fraud
The good news is that financial institutions are doing more than ever to prevent fraud. “Authentication techniques such as 2FA, tokens, and biometrics are becoming the norm for Asian banks and consumers these days,” said Subhashish Bose, Business Segment Leader, Fraud, Security & Compliance, FICO. “While the processes may be inconvenient for some users, these extra steps help ensure that transactions are more secure. Ultimately, this should give consumers greater peace of mind – after all, the biggest draw from Black Friday is savings from buying goods that would normally cost people more money. There’s certainly more to lose when one becomes a victim of fraud.”
“FICO too is doing more than ever to help banks, card issuers, fintechs, merchants and others protect customers from fraud and financial crime,” notes Jason Keegan, vice president and general manager of the Fraud and Protection business at FICO. “We have made continual AI and machine learning innovations available in our FICO® Falcon® Platform, which protects more than 2.6 billion accounts worldwide. Last Black Friday we sent 2.3 million fraud alerts to banking customers using our FICO® Customer Communication Services. And we recently announced new FICO® Authentication Suite and FICO® Identity Proofing solutions to better make validate customer identities.”