With the rise of conmen and even fraudulent bank employees in the country, it is becoming hard to tell the difference between a genuine request from your bank and a scam. This has led many Kenyans to lose hundreds of thousands through such scams going by the stories on social media. As such, bank users need to take extra precaution to ensure the safety of their money.
Here are some details that you should avoid sharing about your bank account to avoid getting scammed.
1. Banking Passwords
This one goes without saying but we’ll repeat it for emphasis, NEVER SHARE YOUR PASSWORD. As scammers become more tech savvy, they are now targeting online banking which can be easily hacked. Therefore, you should keep your password extremely private. Don’t even share with your family and if possible, try to change it frequently. Additionally, try to use strong passwords that contain at least 12 characters including symbols and numbers.
2. Personal Information
With the age of social media, nothing is private anymore as people tend to over share. We post everything from our parent’s middle name to our childhood best friends. However, experts have cautioned about sharing personal information, including your birthday, on social media as this may expose you to hacking. Internet hackers can use such information to access to gain access to your social media and even bank accounts. So, you might want to change that detailed Facebook profile.
3. Automatic Authorization
Most people use sites that require monthly renewals such as Netflix. These sites normally request for automatic authorization so as to deduct the monthly fee when it’s up for renewal. While it’s perfectly harmless to authorize this, it may expose you to fraud in the long run if the website falls in the hands of hackers. Since they have access to your bank account, hackers can use such sites to drain the accounts of their subscribers. Depending on which site it is, one would rather renew their subscriptions manually to avoid getting scammed.
4. Identification Information
Identification information such as ID number or full names are sensitive when it comes to bank accounts. This is information that the bank uses to verify its customer and in the wrong hands, it can lead to fraud. In most cases, fraudsters will ask about your full names and ID number so as to gain access to your account while pretending to be you. Since the bank already has these details, it will rarely ask you for the same and it’s up to you to exercise caution.
5. Login Details
Giving out your login credentials exposes your bank account to theft through online transactions. Whether you use your name, email address or alias as your login details, you shouldn’t share this information with anyone. Your bank will not require your login detail. Therefore, if anyone purporting to be your banking service provider asks for it, you should automatically assume it’s a scammer.
6. Debit/Credit Card Details
Debit cards have crucial information that you should never share with anybody. This includes the name, CVV, card number, and expiry date. These details can give someone access to your card and bank account with or without having the physical card. It’s then easy for them to make payments and even withdraw money using your card details. Avoid entering this information in suspicious websites as they may be phishing scams. To ensure that a website is secure, look if they have an “S” after the “http” or a padlock symbol on the site’s address. Also never post pictures of your debit/credit cards on the socials unless you want to get scammed.
7. Routing Number
Your routing number is a nine-digit code on a banker’s cheque that identifies the financial institution where you opened your account. This is usually the same for every user of a certain bank. Though you may need to give this information in some occasions such as making online payments, scammers can use your routing number along your bank account number to transfer money from your account. Be wary of suspicious websites and avoid using your main bank account for online payments but rather consider using prepaid cards.
8. Bank Statement
Though your bank statement is fairly harmless, when it lands in the wrong hands, it can still be used to commit fraud. Statements contain your personal information such as name, address and account details which fraudsters may use to acquire a loan. This is known as identity theft and though it’s not as common in the country, several people have found themselves with loans they never applied for.
9. Email Address
In the digital age, you email address has a lot of important information about you. If a scammer gains access to your email address, they can use it to hack your online accounts including your banking app. Though it’s harder to acquire a new password for most banking apps, scammers can still reset your password and transfer money from your account with little effort. As such, you should keep a close eye on your banking app and avoid accessing your email through public Wi-Fi or cyber cafes.
10. Bank Balance
While this does not directly put you at risk of getting scammed, this information may attract potential scammers. Sharing your bank account balance may entice the other party to defraud you if they think you have enough money. This should be private information that should be kept between you and your bank.