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Home / Nedbank warns of escalating bank fraud… financial losses increased from N$19 million to N$20.5 million

Nedbank warns of escalating bank fraud… financial losses increased from N$19 million to N$20.5 million

2021-11-18  Staff Reporter

Nedbank warns of escalating bank fraud… financial losses increased from N$19 million to N$20.5 million
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According to Nedbank Namibia, banking fraud is a growing problem in the country, with many clients being defrauded by criminals using a whole range of methods. Nedbank issued the warning in light of International Fraud Week, which is being observed from 14 to 20 November 2021.

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Inc (ACFE) describes fraud as encompassing actions that are meant to deceive for financial or personal gain. 

Fraud causes billions of dollars in damage to companies, governments and individuals each year, according to ACFE.

Banking institutions, including Nedbank Namibia, are required by the Bank of Namibia to strengthen their surveillance systems and institute adequate and appropriate internal controls to combat fraud. 

To avoid losing money to fraudsters, clients of Nedbank need to learn about the various methods used by them.

The Bank of Namibia says in 2020, control measures in place had the desired effect, since the amount involved in fraudulent activities decreased from N$29.4 million recorded in 2019 to N$25.7 million in 2020, but the actual amount of financial loss suffered increased from N$19.8 million in 2019 to N$20.5 million in 2020. 

The total number of cases escalated from 238 to 258.

Nedbank Namibia wants their clients and the public at large to be armed with the knowledge that will help them to protect their hard-earned money from fraudsters.

Selma Kaulinge, Nedbank’s communication manager, said: “In sports, it is said that attack is the best form of defence. In this instance, knowledge is the best defence against fraud. We want our clients to understand the various scams that fraudsters use to steal money. Understanding these methods will help clients to protect themselves from falling prey to them”. 

Two of the numerous methods fraudsters use to scam out of your hard-earned money are phishing and smishing. 

These are methods where fraudsters send an email, SMS or social media post that looks like an official communication from Nedbank or other reputable organisation, although it is not.

SIM swaps and number porting are other methods often used by fraudsters.

 Once fraudsters have access to your banking details, they will often do a SIM swap or number port on your cellphone to intercept your banking notifications such as SMS notifications and OTPs.

Malware is another commonly used method. Fraudsters send emails that appear to be from Nedbank or another reputable organisation, when in fact they don’t. These emails have attachments or links that contain malicious software, which is downloaded onto your device if you click on the link or attachment.

Change of banking details scam is another method favoured by fraudsters. In this scam, you will receive a letter from one of your suppliers, saying their banking details have changed, and asking for all future payments to be made into their new account.

In the deposit scam, a fraudster will send you fake proof of payment to try to trick you into believing that a payment was made into your account. Advanced fee/419 scam is another well-known scam. This involves any scam in which fraudsters persuade someone to give them funds in advance in the expectation that they will receive something of a higher value in return.

Vishing is social engineering over the phone; it involves a fraudster posing as an employee of the bank or other reputable organisation, who calls a client to ask for personal information such as their card number and PIN, Nedbank profile number and password, ID number or access to their cellphone or laptop through software that they need to download.

“The most common scam involves a fraudster posing as an employee from Nedbank’s fraud or forensic department, calling you, and saying they need your card number and PIN, or your internet banking details, username and password in order to reverse a debit order or fraudulent transaction. They may even ask you to download software like AnyDesk or TeamViewer to assist in reversing the transaction,” Kaulinge highlighted.

She added that fraudsters can also pretend to be a Nedbank employee and offer to assist you with opening an account, or linking your debit card to your account. 

It can also be a call from someone, claiming to be a representative from an IT company or network service provider, asking clients to allow them to access their Wi-Fi network or computer to help solve a problem like increasing network speed, upgrading security software, removing a virus, or trying to sell them a software licence.

“Clients need to know that Nedbank will never ask a client for their internet banking details and password, or card PIN or CVV (the three- or four-digit security number found on the front or back of the card) to reverse a transaction or debit order, open a new account or link their debit card to their account. Therefore, never give a third-party control of your computer or share your Wi-Fi network password. Clients should be suspicious if they receive a call out of the blue from a service provider to do repairs on their network or computer,” she emphasised.

In closing, Kaulinge warned clients not to trust caller identity, as fraudsters often use number-masking software to make it look like the call is from Nedbank or other reputable organisation when it is not.

“If a client’s card PIN or Nedbank internet banking details has been compromised, they should change it immediately. The client should select a unique password that is not similar to the compromised password.”

2021-11-18  Staff Reporter

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