Banking fraud or online scam?
Any online scam is not necessarily the same as banking fraud.
Banks will generally see their customers right if they are victims of banking fraud and have not contributed to the fraud.
They will look at what happened and offer to reimburse losses on a case by case basis. They may cover your losses if, for example, someone gets access to your credit card or online accounts by fraudulent means, without your knowledge, and uses that access to make unauthorised purchases or to transfer your money to another bank account. It’s a different story if you have played a part in the fraud.
In this case, you willingly sent money to the Nigerian princess like the one who sent me two day ago informing me that I have won over $850 000 and i have to send my details inorder to claim the money. Even if it wanted to, your bank couldn’t stop you sending her money or your banking details. It might well have asked you about the transaction, and cautioned you not to when you told the bank why you were sending money overseas, but ultimately the bank is there to do what you say. It’s your money. That’s why it’s always important to be sure you know who you’re dealing with when transacting online. Most of us will see the Nigerian princess coming. Regrettably that’s not the case with many scams. Even the most cautious of us can be taken in.
Scammers are good at what they do. They will often pretend to be banks, businesses or people in need of your assistance. They might also pretend to be people looking for love or friendship. They prey on trust and kindness.
When they approach you, often by email or phone, they may provide documents that appear to be legitimate. In the end, they will always ask for money or personal information such as passwords and PIN numbers. If you give them personal information, they can steal your identity and get access to your bank accounts. This past week multitudes of FNB Botswana bankers having raised serious complaints about how their money was being withdrawn from thei accounts without their knowledge. Some have suspect card skimming by use of devices that steal information at the ATMs in major malls. FNB has however promised to investigate the matter but asked its customer to be extra cautious, by the look of things no one has yet got to the bottom of the problem or any mention of suspects.
If you have been scammed it’s always worth alerting your bank to see if they can assist. Once again banks often stress that any reimbursement of losses will be determined on a case by case basis. In this case it is not clear whether customers were reckless or the bank security has been compromised, if indeed it is the latter then FNB will face serious credibility and customer confidence problems. People love to know that their money is safe and secured.
There are a few things you can do to help protect yourself from banking fraud and general online scams. Monitor your account. Protect access to your computer and mobile devices. If you’re not careful, criminals may be able to get hold of your personal information and bank accounts.
If you receive an email from anyone you don’t recognise, don’t open it. Email can be disguised to look legitimate. If you have any suspicions, contact the person or organisation it appears to have come from to check its authenticity.
And next time that Nigerian princess emails you, just delete it.