You can still be a victim of banking fraud even if you take precautions
I get teased for treating my computer like Fort Knox. I use Avast anti virus, and run scans twice a week. I use a malware detector, and I also use Registry Mechanic to keep my registry clean. I don’t surf sites of dubious repute, and I back up my back ups! But still, we got a serious call from our bank earlier this week.
It was the Fraud Prevention folks at CIBC. First we endured fifteen minutes of interrogation about our usage of our debt card – both online and in the real world. We had to verify where we had been and what we had done. Once they were satisfied we were us, the guy relaxed and explained what happened.
They know we use online banking regularly – and they know the IP addresses and internet service providers we ordinarily use. In the past week, there had been several log ins from strange IP addresses. And we had never heard of the internet service provider they were asking about.
In fact, we never use the debit card in the real world. Never. We only use it for online banking. The guy revealed that CIBC believed someone had figured out our ATM card number, and was scoping our online activity and accounts, and waiting to make a move. Thankfully, nothing had been done yet.
These criminals watch your patterns first, so that when they begin to use their fake version of your ATM card, they know exactly how to fly under the radar.
The bank investigator told us to close ALL our accounts immediately. He cancelled our two visas (a pain as we have automated payments coming from them), and he sent us to the branch the next day to close and re open all the bank accounts, and to get another ATM card number with a different number.
I don’t know how this happened, but I do know for a week or so there in early January, my computer had been acting very strangely. I had spent a great deal of time cleaning and optimizing it until finally I got it back to efficient working order.
How can someone prevent banking fraud if they’ve already done their part?
Going forward, I thought about what I can do differently to prevent this happening again. The only thing I could think of is to change our online banking passwords at least once a week. Also, as a reader points out, don’t save your bank card # on the login screen. Reenter it every time and clear cookies when you sign out.
If you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them.