Three Ways to Fight Bank Transaction Fraud

By Costas Christoforou, CPM Corporate Administrative Services CEO

The coronavirus pandemic has pressured financial security risks as a wave of new frauds sweeps through the banking system.

A variety of deceptions and manipulations are used by fraudsters to gain confidential information like bank account access codes or identities.

Some of the common hoaxes used on companies and individuals are phishing, smishing, and vishing.

Phishing is mostly carried out through emails sent by con artists which appear to be from credible sources like bank officials. Often, the emails urge the recipient to click on a link to log into their bank account for some reason.

The simple action of opening the email can result in a malicious program downloaded to the recipient’s computer. Using keystroke logging or screen capture software, passwords can then be copied and used to gain access to the bank account.

The simplest way to defend from this type of fraud is never to open emails which appear to be from a bank before double checking with the bank itself. Other defences include ensuring that computer firewalls are in place and carrying out digital security checks.

Smishing is an attempt to gain access to mobile phone information via sms. The sms can be about winning a prize and might include a link to a website to claim the prize or a request for bank account details. When the recipient clicks on the link, a malicious program can be downloaded to the phone which gives remote access to information on the phone.

Vulnerability to smishing is higher in these times of mobile banking applications, so it’s important to keep passwords confidential and never click on links sent by sms from unknown persons.

Vishing is a direct phone call from a fraudster pretending to represent a bank. During the call, there may be an attempt to gain information like access codes on the pretext of re-activating an account. Being alert and corroborating the call directly with the bank will avoid financial loss.

In addition to the methods described above, there are variations and other types of potential fraud, many of which can be prevented with high digital security standards and by staying alert.

Push payment emails are one example. A fraudster finds out a company’s genuine trading counterparty and sends an invoice with payment instructions to an account. This account is controlled by the fraudster who immediately transfers the money out to multiple accounts where it disappears. These types of bank transaction frauds are difficult to detect, often until it’s too late. 

In response to the increase in bank transaction fraud, at CPM we have redoubled vigilance and monitoring of our clients’ bank accounts for the highest possible protection. Our team of experts in IT security and bank account analysis work around the clock to help to keep our clients’ bank accounts as safe as possible. 

In conclusion, given the rising risk of bank transaction fraud, putting failsafes and double checks in place is now a higher priority.