Staying Safe When Moving Bank Accounts
  • 30 Mar 2023
  • 3 Minutes to read
  • Contributors
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Staying Safe When Moving Bank Accounts

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Article summary

There are plenty of reasons why you'd want to change banks. Maybe you are searching for better rates and fees. Maybe your current bank doesn't have the security features you want. Or it could be that you want a better online banking experience. Perhaps its a worst case scenario, and your bank's future is looking dire. Either way, you want to make sure you protect your money when making the move, as cybercriminals are always looking for ways to try and obtain your funds. This client guide will inform you on the potential scams you may see when moving your bank accounts, as well as ways you can keep your accounts safe and secure.

Scams to Watch Out for When Moving Bank Accounts

Phishing Scams and Other Social Engineering Attacks

Social engineering attacks, particularly phishing scams, are among the most common forms of online cyberattacks you will encounter. When moving bank accounts, cybercriminals may pose as a trusted entity, such as a representative at your new or former bank, to try and get you to turn over money or sensitive information. They may do so via phishing emails, or perhaps even SMS text messages, a tactic known as "smishing" or through voice-related scams, or "vishing."

They may try several tactics to get you to turn over these data points, mainly by trying to elicit an emotional response. Scammers may say they are from your new bank, and there's a problem with your account, and the only way to fix it is to hand over your login credentials. Or, they could ask you for fees to remedy nonexistent account problems.

How to Avoid Social Engineering Scams:

  • Remember: No legitimate organization will ever ask you for personal information, login credentials, or money. If you receive this type of request, do not engage any further.
  • Even if you do not respond to the message, make sure you do not click and links or downloads either. You may end up triggering a download of malicious malware.
  • When receiving any form of communication that may appear suspicious, contact your financial institution and confirm whether they sent you any materials. Should it be similar to one of the examples provided above, the answer will almost assuredly be "no."

Fake Apps:

As you prepare to move onto your new bank, you'll likely download its mobile application. Cybercriminals know this, and will set up fake apps that look similar to legitimate ones, in hopes that you will download theirs and open yourself up to a slate of troubles. Here's how you can protect yourself from fake applications.

Tips for App Downloads

  • Only download applications from the Apple and Google app stores. While malicious apps occasionally will find their way to these stores, they are few and far between and the tech companies have measures in place to remove malicious apps from their stores.
  • Find who is listed as the app developer and research them. It's a quick way to discover whether the app is legitimate.
  • Read the description of the app. If the description of the app is poorly written and filled with spelling mistakes, it's likely a scam.
  • Read the reviews as well. If an app doesn't have reviews, stay away. If an app has a small amount of reviews, and they all read the same, that's a red flag. And of course, if the majority of app reviews are negative, that's a good sign that you should stay away.

Other Ways to Keep Your Accounts Safe

  • Make sure your new accounts are protected with a unique, strong password.
  • Enable dual factor authentications on your account, as well as any other accounts where its offered.
  • Monitor your accounts regularly. It's a good idea to periodically check and see if there's any suspicious activity on your accounts. Should you find any, report it to your bank as soon as possible.

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