Bank customers are popular targets of cybercriminals, and no wonder as remote banking allows theoretically anyone to pilfer bank accounts with the right kind of information.
Most recently, UK customers of Barclays Bank have been receiving bogus text messages in an attempt to harvest their passwords – an exploit sometimes known as ‘smishing’. The authentic-looking messages direct potential victims to a phoney phone number – either to gather their confidential banking details or to run up a large bill on a premium rate phone line.
Barclays has issued guidelines to avoid this kind of entrapment, recommending the use of its official number tracker to check that the phone number is authentic. The bank also urges customers to never give out codes, log-in details or passwords and not to click on links or attachments in unsolicited emails.
In addition, it stresses the importance of never handing over remote access to a computer to anyone and to be wary of revealing personal details; even to seemingly trustworthy parties such as bank staff, businesses or government bodies. Barclay’s this year released a TV ad on digital safety to this effect – it’s a good watch and can be accessed via this link.