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The dangers of online banking

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  • The dangers of online banking

    Hackers are back again. While banks take up extra measures when it comes to their Internet related banking services, customers have to be extra vigilant when it comes to accessing online services.
    At the end of 2003, Hong Kong's banking giant, HSBC Ltd. located a fraudulent website that bore the banks logo and offered personal services. The fake website actually copied the design of HSBC's Hong Kong website which included a link to a log-on page asking customers to key in their bank user ID and password. Luckily, this fraudulent website was shut down after thorough police investigations.
    Prior to this incident, several similar warnings were also issued locally by Citibank Malaysia and Maybank- cautioning their customers to not fall prey to dubious e-mail requests for personal information related to their online banking activities.
    Why the increase in online banking woes you ask? This is because hackers are now targeting the customers directly instead of attacking websites. Banks can protect themselves and their customers, but can customers protect themselves?
    Industry players say that the increase in online banking alerts are due to hackers changing their tactic by sending individual spoof e-mails that provide links to fake Internet banking sites. The spoof e-mails bear similar addresses of a particular bank with a link to a fake site; hackers then capture the gullible customers personal data entered at the site.
    Although banks are taking continuous measures to overcome the problem, customers must know that technology is not fool proof and the element of risk is always there. Alerts by banks to warn and educate customers on fake websites and e-mails may help alleviate the problem but never eradicate it totally as some people will fall prey to these scams.
    While the number of fake banking sites cannot be quantified and banks decline to reveal the number of people who have victimized, some customers say the matter is very serious. One such action taken by was to disable certain services such as third-party transfer, inter-bank transfer and selected electronic payment standing instructions. Certain banking sites also logs off a customer from their online accounts if it has been left idle for 10 minutes (or, if the customer forgot to log off themselves).
    To protect and alert customers, banks are posting security alerts on their websites whilst providing tips on conducting secure online transactions. What you should know to prevent online banking scams:
    Do not reveal your PIN (personal identification number) to anyone.
    Banks do not request for a customers PIN or password via e-mail or a hyperlink through e-mails or phone. If you are not sure, contact your bank to confirm.
    Always access banking websites by typing in the full URL or website address, and never through a link provided in e-mails.
    Refer to your account statements or any letters which you might have received from your bank- there should be an e-mail or URL for you to check against if you are suspicious about a URL given in the bogus e-mail
    Sample of a recent fraudulent e-mail received in late January 2004:
    How do you know the above e-mail is a fake?
    There are grammatical mistakes.
    The less-than-polite language used "We are insisting…". It's never polite to force customers to do anything.
    The URL looks suspicious. It should be (the bank's full name should always come first).
    While banks take all possible measures to increase online banking security, customers are always reminded that it is their responsibility to adhere to security tips provided. Vigilance pays.

  • #2
    good info there! nice....


    • #3
      The dangers of online banking

      any updates on this from staff? can we have the path more traveled by instead of alaskan outback? almost uninstalled the game today after playing on alaskan outback.