Crime is one of the biggest problems in most countries where acts like burglary and hijacking ranks amongst the most common. While those are primarily physical crimes, there are some that target someone’s bank account that can really have serious repercussions in the holder’s life.
An alarming trend has recently surfaced whereby thieves gain access to your phone – either by stealing it or keeping you occupied long enough – and hack into the online banking app stored on your phone. Even though it is protected by your own encrypted password authorisation, criminals have found a way to bypass the system, by whatever means, and drain your account before you have the chance to visit the bank and follow the necessary steps to cancellation.
One of the biggest concerns is that a criminal has an unassuming appearance, giving you no indication that they are up to something illegal. Also, thieves act fast and in groups so most of the time, places like malls and parking lots are hotspots where the ‘ideal’ victim can prove to be easy pickings.
Gumtree lists ways in which to protect becoming a victim of online banking theft:
- People will always have their smartphones in their possession – either in a bag or clothing pocket – and thieves know this. If possible, leaving your phone at home or in the car can prove to be vital for your bank account.
- Another way is to use a different phone that has no financial applications or details installed in the event it should get stolen. This leaves thieves with no access to any sort of financial information.
- If you have no choice but to have your phone in your possession, don’t use and walk around with it, especially outside. Not only does this alert criminals that you have a phone but can also be stolen from you in a split-second.
- Always keep an eye open for someone always close to you or in your vicinity and alert someone because that can prevent the theft from happening in the first place.