When tweeting, beware of the phish!

How fraudsters use social networking to access your information

Phishing scams, which relate to the imitation of financial institutions, traditionally through email, evolve continuously, seeking out new platforms to target the next unsuspecting victims.

One of the biggest social media phishing scams recently occurred through fraudsters playing on human relationships. Fraudsters hack a certain online social media account like Facebook or Twitter, and follow each person on that account with a private message such as “Is this you in the video?” accompanied by a link to a website.

Once the recipient has clicked on the link, they are directed to a fake login page where they are requested to provide a username and password. Once logged into the social media account, fraudsters will change the username and password. Since most people use the same login-in details for all accounts, fraudsters will also have easy access to other accounts.

To avoid becoming yet another victim, consumers should ensure that they use strong passwords for all accounts. The key to a strong password is to increase the complexity and length of the password. Use a variety of characters—don’t just use letters: include symbols, punctuation marks and numbers where possible. Your password should at least be ten characters or more.

Another rule is not to use the same passwords for all accounts as this will have a domino effect on all your accounts should you become the victim of a phishing scam.

To ensure consumers always access legitimate websites, they should never click on any suspicious web links. To be extra safe, rather retype the address in the browser address bar. The correct FNB website is www.fnb.co.za and not www.fnb.bank.co.za, for example.

Should you feel that your confidential banking information has been compromised, do not hesitate to contact FNB’s fraud team on 011 632 2226 or e-mail them on [email protected]

Read more news, blogs, tips and Q&As in our Smart Money section. Post questions on the site for independent and researched information.

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