17 December 2004
Bank of New Zealand warns public to have adequate safety measures when using the Internet
Bank of New Zealand is reminding customers to take precautions when on the internet, commenting in the wake of the case where Wellington woman told of fraudsters attempts to take $18,000 from her bank account through the bank’s Internet Banking service.
Shona Bishop, General Manager for Channel and Process Optimisation, reassures customers that the Internet is a safe environment in which to undertake banking.
“The Internet poses no more and no fewer risk than does any other banking environment. Every year there are millions of Internet banking transactions, and only a handful see people lose money,” says Ms Bishop.
“Our Internet banking platform has never been compromised. However, some customers are allowing their details to be compromised by not being adequately prepared when surfing the net. In such instances, any information they have on their computer can be infected, including diaries, emails and other personal data.”
Ms Bishop, says international scam artists access customers’ Internet banking accounts by obtaining their logon and passwords through Trojan viruses.
“Trojan viruses are unwittingly picked up by Internet users when visiting some Internet sites, downloading material, or chatting on Internet chat rooms. Trojans secretly monitor and record which keystrokes users push when online,” she says.
“Once they have identified the logons and passwords, the fraudsters set up a bill payment in the customer’s account and generally transfer money to an intermediary in New Zealand, who then sends it to the fraudsters’ offshore account.”
Ms Bishop says there’s a simple and cost-effective way for customers to reduce the chance of receiving a Trojan virus. “You wouldn’t go to the beach without appropriate suntan lotion. Nor should you go on the Internet without up-to-date Internet safety measures like firewalls and up-to-date anti-virus protection which capture and destroy such viruses.”
“If people have the right security measures, the chances of becoming victims of Internet Banking fraud are very low.”
Customers should visit www.bnz.co.nz/security for security tips and links to specialist sites offering up-to-date anti-virus software.