Singapore — Online scams are on the rise. From scammers impersonating Singapore Police Officers to text messages that retrieve confidential information – leading to victims losing their life savings through unauthorised transactions.
Mr Chiah Tian Ming, a Fraud Analyst at Hugo, spent more than six years in anti-fraud and anti-money laundering roles in notable banks shared with The Independent Singapore the top 14 ways to ensure your banking and personal details are safe from scammers.
With bank clients losing millions in phishing scams, there is an increased need for public awareness regarding online scams and how they operate.
Risk management and anti-fraud experts from financial technology company, Hugo, have provided fool-proof ways to protect oneself from scammers.
Ms Julia Chin, the Head of Compliance at Hugo, with over 20 years of experience in risk management and compliance at international financial institutions across Asia and the Middle East, along with Fraud Analyst, Mr Chiah Tian Ming, advised the below:
- Do not give away sensitive banking details such as usernames, PINs, passwords to anyone.
- Strengthen your account security by using sophisticated and unique passwords and storing them safely for reference.
- Refrain from sharing too much personal information online to prevent scammers and hackers from piecing details together.
- Don’t fall for social engineering schemes such as phishing emails and texts, scam calls and scareware (malicious computer programs that trick users into buying or downloading unnecessary and potentially dangerous software).
- Pay close attention to the URL, meaning it must perfectly match the original website.
“Apparently, even something that looks as legitimate as Google Ads can be used by scammers to cheat unsuspecting victims of their money,” said the Hugo experts. “So checking URL accuracy and certification is a best practice we should all have.”
- Be familiar with your bank’s security measures and double-check with the bank if there are changes, such as the login and authentication processes.
- Ensure that a website has valid Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, which authenticates a website’s identity and provides an encrypted connection between a web server and browser.
- Maintain optimal security by updating to the latest versions of web browsers as they keep to date with the best anti-phishing systems.
- Routinely scan and clean your device for potential malware using trusted software.
- Avoid shady sites and install high-quality firewalls to prevent your device from being infected with malware or spyware.
- Use 2-factor authentication when possible because this is a fundamental way to add extra security to your online activity.
- Avoid conducting online banking transactions on public or shared computers.
- Routinely log out and clear your caches just to be safe.
- Monitor bank account transactions regularly to keep track of any suspicious behaviour.
“Cybercriminals are not bumbling idiots, and scammers are a persistent and hardworking bunch. While we’ve heard many funny stories of failed schemes, there are also tragic anecdotes of people losing their fortunes,” said the Hugo experts.
“Countering scams requires everyone to stay up-to-date, cooperate, and follow the best practices stated above.”
Hugo is Singapore’s first Wealthcare app, an all-in-one digital account that helps consumers spend, save and invest.
Hugo is a member of the Singapore Fintech Association, owned and operated by Singapore-incorporated Atlas Consolidated Pte Ltd since December 2019.
More information on Hugo and its services can be found here. /TISG
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