With the increasing sophistication of fraudster gangs, safeguarding your bank details has become more crucial than ever. They employ various tactics, from gaining access to your computer to coaxing you into transferring money for nonexistent goods.

In recent times, the range of these incidents has expanded, with new hacking methods constantly emerging in cybersecurity news. This underscores the necessity for anyone engaging with technology to stay updated through blogs, podcasts, and advice from tech experts, thereby minimizing the chances of falling victim to cybersecurity breaches.

Being aware of the strategies employed by fraudsters is vital for your protection. Watch out for phishing emails, suspicious phone calls, fraudulent websites, and other malicious activities. Only download software from reputable sources and ensure your security software is always up-to-date. Implement two-factor authentication wherever possible and use robust, unique passwords. By following these precautions, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling prey to cyber fraud.

Will I get my money back?
Credit card payments are covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act and payments made by debit cards can be refunded by chargeback. There is no such protection in making a bank transfer, a fact that says six out of ten people do not realise, says Which?.

The most common to get your money back is through a police complaint and an official process thereafter, which could take a lot of time. But there are other ways people use as well. So if you find yourself a victim of online fraud, consider enlisting the expertise of professionals who specialize in investigating and uncovering these fraudulent activities. Trustworthy Private Investigator Services in leeds or elsewhere can offer invaluable assistance in tracking down scammers, identifying their digital footprints, and gathering evidence to support your case. Acting swiftly and seeking the aid of experts can make a significant difference in your efforts to combat the new wave of online scammers and secure your financial future.

Are the banks doing enough?
According to many research studies, there’s a compelling argument that if banks were held accountable for fraud stemming from bank transfers, they would be motivated to enhance their security measures. Their research discovered that out of 11 high street banks, six had not yet implemented a two-step security system, which could significantly bolster customer protection.

In addition, it’s crucial for banks to fortify their app security in light of the escalating financial fraud cases. This is a critical step to safeguard their customers from fraudulent activities and ensure their financial transactions remain secure.

Britons make more than 70 million bank transfers a month, compared with about 100 million a year, a decade ago. Which?, the consumer group, says that losses through bank transfers went up 64 percent to 133.5 million in 2014-15.
Which frauds are most common?
Be on your guard for text messages or calls claiming to come from your bank, or texts from telecoms and tech companies such as BT, Microsoft, or Talktalk.

The details of 157,000 Talktalk customers were stolen in a computer hack attack in October 2015. A BBC investigation found that details were used by scammers in India to call customers, asking them to give them access to their computers so that they could do some form of maintenance. Sometimes they claimed people were due a refund and asked for their bank details.

Lloyds dismissed the research as limited and over-simplistic. It says: “The findings do not provide an accurate reflection of the sophisticated security our customers benefit from that is undetectable in this research. Our mobile banking app allows customers to access their accounts by entering three characters from their memorable information. The app uniquely associates each device with its owner.”

Santander says: “We invest significant resources each year to alert customers to scams.” TSB says: “We have complex controls to protect customers from becoming victims and we remind customers to be vigilant and to contact us if they believe something isn’t right.”

Be wary of calls from people who say that they are from your bank and ask you to log in, or tell them your password. No bank would do this.

Hackers can access your emails, and then send you a message purporting to be one of your contacts and ask you to transfer money.

Also, watch out for fake online advertisements; never pay for goods before collection and be wary of holiday lets that may not be real. Amit Sangovi, 39, from Pinner, found what he thought was a holiday flat in Paris on Airbnb last summer. Amit emailed the person purporting to be the owner, who emailed back asking for payment via bank transfer to an account in Spain. After the payment, the property disappeared from the internet, and Amit was told by Airbnb that the booking reference was invalid. He has not received any of his 700 back because the bank was not liable for the transfer.

A spokesman for the Financial Conduct Authority says: “We require banks to have systems in place to minimise the risk of financial crime. Where we find weaknesses in their financial crime controls, we hold them to account.”

How can I stay safe online?
Install anti-virus software, such as Kaspersky, and regularly run a scan of your computer. Change your password often, avoiding anything obvious because these can be cracked using hacking programmes. Think random: the government’s Get Safe Online website has some useful advice on this issue. Do not use the same password for every account. Don’t access bank accounts using wifi systems in coffee shops.