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Vigilance key to combating online bank fraud

Remaining vigilant key to combating online bank fraud

Bank of New Zealand says one of the key ways to stop online banking scams is not to divulge password information to anyone – even bank staff.

“No bank in New Zealand has had their online banking system compromised. It’s only through customers unwittingly providing their login IDs and passwords to fraudsters that money is stolen from customers’ accounts,” says Chris Walker, Head of Online Solutions for Bank of New Zealand.

Mr Walker offers people six security tips for minimising all types of Internet Banking fraud:

Be cautious of virus attachments with file extensions such as .pif or .hta eg: yourinfo.pif Always login to Internet Banking by typing www.bnz.co.nz into the address bar or by using your bookmarks or favourites, to ensure you are on the official Bank of New Zealand website Always log out of Internet Banking when you have finished your banking session Be cautious when using a computer in public places such as Internet cafes Install anti-virus software on your computer, and update the software’s virus definitions frequently Ensure the padlock symbol, indicating a secure environment, appears at the bottom of your Internet browser, or look for an ‘s’ after the http: in the web address.

Customers are also warned not to be fooled by the ‘too good to be true’ scams.

“People are fooled into accepting money into their own bank accounts, and then transferring that money to offshore accounts. They’re essentially assisting scam artists with money laundering.

”Customers can be assured that Internet Banking is safe and Bank of New Zealand takes every precaution in ensuring customer accounts are protected, says Mr Walker.

“Online fraud is not a new phenomenon, although it has become more sophisticated. We’re in regular contact with other banks, and we have a close relationship with the e-crime squad of the New Zealand Police to ensure we stay one step ahead of the scam artists,” he says.

“There are no immediate plans to implement a high-tech solution such as ‘smart cards’ for Internet Banking customers. The best solution to ensure Internet Banking is secure is for customers to be vigilant and aware of potentially fraudulent situations.”

Mr Walker said overall, there was no reason for customers to become anxious about using Internet banking. “The number of cases of fraud are tiny compared to the number of transactions. Customers should not stop using Internet banking out of fear.

“We’re always looking at ways to make Internet Banking more secure. But if we are able to continue to alert customers of potential scams and how to combat them, the battle is half-won.”

More information on minimising Internet Banking fraud can be found by visiting www.bnz.co.nz

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