Your safety and security while banking is one of our highest priorities. As a result, we have a number of digital banking systems and security protocols in place to safeguard you against identity theft or any other online threats.
This ensures that no matter where or when you log on, you know you are protected.
Cheque fraud takes place when a fraudster uses a stolen or counterfeit cheque to pay for goods and services. When the real cheque owner discovers that money has been stolen from his or her account, the victim can be obliged to repay the total sum – even if this happens several weeks later.
How to protect yourself against cheque fraud
- Don’t accept cheques from anyone unless you know and trust them, especially when a high-value cheque is involved.
- Be aware that there’s a risk that money credited to your account from a cheque could be reclaimed if the cheque turns out to be stolen or counterfeit.
- Always consider other ways of accepting payment for high-value items.
- Keep your chequebook in a safe place.
- Report any missing cheques to your bank immediately.
- Always check your bank statements thoroughly.
Here are some of the most common scams and how you can avoid them.
Lost and stolen card fraud
This occurs when a fraudster posing as you uses a lost or stolen card. Most lost and stolen card fraud occurs before you report the loss.
To protect yourself from lost and stolen card fraud:
- Report any lost or stolen cards immediately by calling us on (+248) 4383973 the moment you realise that your card has been stolen.
- Only carry the cards you need.
- Avoid placing cards in your pockets, where they can easily fall out.
- Make sure that your cards fit snugly inside your wallet or purse.
- Take precautions to avoid your card being stolen. For example, don’t leave your handbag unattended or carry your wallet in your back pocket.
Counterfeit card fraud or skimming
A counterfeit card can be a fake card or a valid one that’s been altered or recoded. Most cases involve skimming, when the data on your card’s magnetic strip is electronically copied on to another card without your knowledge. Skimming commonly occurs at retail outlets, particularly bars, restaurants and petrol stations, and at cash machines that have been illegally fitted with a skimming device. The stolen data is then used to create counterfeit cards. Most people are unaware that they’ve fallen victim to this fraud until their statements arrive. If you believe an Absa cash machine has been tampered with, call 4383939 immediately.
To protect yourself:
- Don’t let retail staff take your card away to process payments. Ensure that you can see when they swipe your card and enter the amount at the point-of-sale (POS) terminal.
- Check cash machines for signs of tampering before you use them. If a cash machine looks suspicious, move to another one.
This is a very common type of fraud. It occurs when fraudsters steal your card details and use them to buy things over the Internet or by phone, fax or mail.
To protect yourself from card-not-present fraud:
- Avoid entering your card details on shared or public computers
- Always remember to log out of any websites where you’ve entered your card details
- Only enter your card details on secure sites (i.e. those whose web address begins with ‘https’ and have a padlock in the browser window)
- Keep a close eye on your statements and report any fraudulent transactions immediately
Identity theft on cards
This occurs when a fraudster uses your personal information to open or access card accounts in your name. There are two types:
- Application fraud happens when stolen or fake identification documents are used to open an account in your name
- Account takeover occurs when fraudsters use your personal information to pose as you and convince your bank to make payments from your accounts, order new cards and so on
To protect yourself from identity theft on cards:
- Shred or burn bills, bank statements and other documents containing your personal details before disposing of them.
- If you use social networking sites, display as little personal data on your page as possible.
- Inform us immediately if you change your address.
Here are some of the most common types of online frauds and tips on how you can avoid them.
Social engineering is the act of manipulating people into doing what you want. In terms of online fraud, a fraudster will usually trick people into disclosing their passwords, login details or other confidential information.
Protect yourself from social engineering by:
- Not disclosing confidential information over the phone unless you're absolutely sure of the caller's identity
- Never sending confidential information by email (It can easily be intercepted by a third party. Absa will never ask you to email personal details, account information or passwords.)
- Keeping your PIN confidential at all times (Banks, including us, will never ask you to disclose your PIN.)
Phishing is a process used by fraudsters in an attempt to acquire your confidential information by sending out emails or other kinds of messages that direct you to bogus websites or phone lines. These emails or messages claim to be from a particular company, so they often look legitimate but these messages are actually sent by fraudsters, often at random. Any information you disclose on these bogus websites or phone lines is captured by the fraudsters. You can protect yourself by treating any unsolicited emails or calls that ask for confidential information with suspicion. If in doubt about the validity of a particular message, contact the company that supposedly sent you the message to make sure it’s genuine.
A trojan is a type of malware (malicious software) that is installed on any internet-enabled device (e.g. computer, smartphone) without your knowledge or consent. Typically, a fraudster will send you an email that tries to trick you into following a website link, downloading something or opening an attachment. If you take this action, the trojan is installed. Trojans can be capable of recording your passwords and other personal details by capturing your keystrokes or taking screen shots of sites you visit. These details are then sent to a fraudster. Some trojans actually allow a fraudster to shadow your computer sessions, seeing everything you do. The best way to protect yourself from trojans is to install firewalls and internet security software on your computer and to keep these things up to date.
While identity theft is not common in Seychelles, having your identity stolen can lead to serious financial consequences. Identity theft occurs when fraudsters use your personal information without your knowledge or consent to open bank accounts, apply for credit cards, loans, and documents such as passports and driving licences in your name. Identity theft can have a big impact on your personal life and finances. For example, you may have difficulty getting loans, credit cards or a mortgage until the problem is sorted out.
Here are some ways you can protect yourself from identity theft.
Keep your personal information secure
- Consider picking up valuable items such as debit cards, credit cards and chequebooks directly rather than having them mailed.
- If you move house, tell us immediately so that we can amend your records on our system so that all correspondences and statements from us will be sent to your new address.
Keep your cards safe
- Cancel any lost or stolen cards by calling us on (+248) 4383973 immediately.
- Protect your details when shopping in-store, online or by phone. Make sure other people can’t hear or see your card details or personal information.
- Never carry documents or plastic cards unnecessarily. Keep them in a safe place when you’re not using them.
Keep your documents safe
- Keep your personal identification documents, such as passports or national identity card in a safe place, preferably under lock and key. If any of your documents have been lost or stolen, contact the issuing organisation immediately,
- Destroy unwanted documents, preferably by using a cross shredder or by burning the documents. Never throw away entire bills, receipts, credit or debit card slips, bank statements, or even unwanted post in your name,
- Check your statements as soon as they arrive. If you spot any unfamiliar transactions, contact us immediately,
Keep your passwords and PINs safe
- Never give personal or account details to anyone who contacts you unexpectedly. Be suspicious, even if they claim to be from your bank or the police. Be aware we will never ask for your PIN or a whole security number or password.
- Don’t use the same password for more than one account and never use banking passwords for other websites. Using different passwords increases security and makes it less likely that someone could access all your accounts.
- Never record or store your passwords or PINs in a manner that leaves them open to theft. For example, don't carry them in your purse or wallet.
- Be suspicious of emails that ask for your personal details. If you received a suspicious email that claims to be from us, please forward it to email@example.com and then delete the email immediately.
- Protect the identities of loved ones who have passed away. Fraudsters sometimes use the identities of people who have died. You can reduce the chance of this happening by informing their bank and cancelling and destroying all their identity documents.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of fraud on any of your Absa accounts, contact us immediately on (+248) 4383939.
Phishing for information
Fraudsters use many techniques to obtain customers' passwords and security credentials. Often a fraudster will call the victim and pretend to be the bank or a police official and ask for bank account details, card details, three-digit security numbers, PINs and any online or telephone banking passcodes.
Unfortunately, some people do fall for this and later find that a fraudster has stolen their money. Simply – never give out any banking passcodes/PINs or card details to anyone who phones you. Rest assured that if we do phone you, we will never ask for this information.
If you receive a call and the caller identifies as a member of bank staff, always ask for this person's full name and department and, if you have any doubts about this person’s identity, just terminate the call and contact us immediately. If you were speaking to a genuine bank official, don’t worry – we won’t take it personally. We care more for your security than for our personal feelings.
Mobile and tablet banking has made it easier than ever to check your account balance and view transactions, even when you're on the move. By taking the following steps to protect your mobile phone, you can make using our service even more secure. Set up a password or PIN.
Most mobile phones let you set up a password or PIN, so that your phone can't be used if it's lost or stolen. Make sure that you always have this feature enabled.
Install security software
Like computers, mobiles – especially smartphones – are vulnerable to viruses, some of which can give fraudsters access to your personal information. To protect yourself:
- Install security software and keep it up to date.
- Delete junk emails and text messages.
- Don't follow any website links unless you know that they're genuine.
- Don't download any files or email attachments that you're not sure about.
Beware of malware
Malware, short for malicious software, is software specifically created to access your technological devices covertly, often with the intention of stealing your information for profit. Things like trojan horses are installed without your knowledge when you follow a link, open an attachment or download software from a fraudulent email or text message.
To protect yourself from mobile fraud:
- Don't download software until you've verified its security and privacy features.
- Install anti-malware software that's specifically designed for your mobile device.
- Be suspicious if you get lots of unsolicited emails or text messages – it could mean you have a malicious programme on your phone.
- Keep your mobile software up to date. From time to time, your mobile manufacturer or dealer may release software updates for your phone. Keep an eye out for these and install them regularly.
- Avoid sharing your mobile phone. If you have to share your mobile or send it off for repairs:
- Remove the temporary files and cache stored in the memory of your mobile, as they may contain confidential information.
- Clear your browsing history regularly.
- Don't let people use your mobile until you've logged out of secure sites such as mobile banking.
Keeping your money safe is one of our most important objectives. Here are some of the ways we help protect you and your account information when you are subscribed for internet, mobile and tablet banking.
Your username and password are two important bits of information required to log into our internet banking platform. However, to complete the login process, you will also need to enter a one-time PIN that will be sent to the mobile phone that you have registered with us.
Our online banking service is hosted on a secure, 128-bit encrypted server. This means that any information you send us is encoded for your protection.
Timed log out
Online banking logs you out if you don't use the service for 10 minutes. This gives you added protection if you forget to log yourself out.
Deactivation of your login details
We'll automatically disable your access to online banking if three incorrect attempts are made to log in using your details. This is to stop fraudsters making repeated attempts to get into your accounts. If you don’t use internet banking for more than 60 days, we will automatically deactivate your account to prevent any person from taking over your accounts.
Fraud is a growing problem that everybody needs to be aware of. Here are some tips to help you protect yourself against fraud.
Keep your computer and mobile software up to date
Make sure you install all the latest updates for your internet browser (e.g. Internet Explorer) and operating system (e.g. Windows 7). You should be reminded of available updates when they’re ready automatically (unless you’ve manually turned this function off). Keeping your browser and operating system up to date will ensure that these things are safeguarded and performing as well as possible.
- You should have internet security software and a firewall installed on your computer, and you should also ensure you install any updates from the providers. Make sure you run a full scan of your computer regularly with your security software.
- Install the latest updates for any third-party products (e.g. non-Microsoft if you use a Windows operating system) you use. These updates sometimes include security fixes.
- Use strong passwords. A strong password should contain a mix of letters (upper and lowercase) and numbers. Try to avoid using anything obvious like your name, username or birth date. And change your passwords regularly.
- Only download files or programmes from the internet if they are from genuine, trusted websites or senders.
- Make sure you install anti-malware software on your web-enabled phone.
Keep your details safe
- Keep your cards, passwords, PINs, documents and personal information secure to protect you from identity theft, online fraud, card fraud and more. See our guide to identity fraud to learn more about how you can keep these details safe.
- Do not respond to unsolicited communications that ask for your personal details. Although these phone calls, letters, emails or texts can look or sound legitimate, it’s highly likely that they’re fraudulent. Don’t respond to these kinds of communications until you’ve contacted the company concerned to ensure that they’re genuine.
Be vigilant when using your computer and web-enabled mobile devices
Never download software, open attachments or follow links that you're sent by email unless you're sure they're safe. If in doubt, delete the email immediately. Fraudsters will commonly send unsolicited email with attachments or links that will ultimately install malware (malicious software) on your computer unbeknown to you. Be aware that these emails can be sent from people you know! Fraudsters can sometimes take over the email accounts of people you trust and send out emails containing malware to everyone in their address books. If you're suspicious of anything coming from your contacts, ask them if it's legitimate before proceeding to open any attachments or follow any links.
Be vigilant when using cash machines
- Move to another machine if someone behind you is behaving suspiciously or attempts to distract you.
- Never leave receipts behind. Keep them until you've checked them against your statements and dispose of them safely, preferably by shredding or burning them.
- Check for signs of tampering, as this could mean that the machine you're using has been illegally fitted with a skimming device.
Learn about lotto and advance-fee fraud and protect yourself
- These scams are variations of the same type of fraud: the victim is asked to make a payment in return for receiving a substantial amount of money.
- In both types of scam, the fraudster will claim the money is available but a payment is needed to help cover transfer or administrative costs.
- Treat any such requests for money with suspicion. Be aware that these requests can be made by phone, email, letter or even in person. They can look and sound legitimate. Don’t respond to any unsolicited communications promising prize money in return for payment.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of fraud on any of your Absa accounts, contact us immediately on (+248) 4383939.