In this world of ever-more sophisticated scams, it’s increasingly hard to know who to trust. How good is your online banking security?
If someone calls saying they’re from the police or the fraud division of your bank, what would they have to do to win your trust? If they knew, for example, the last five transactions on your account, would you believe they were genuine?
For most of us, the answer would be yes. And that’s why, in the ongoing battle against the scammers, it’s vital to keep your sensitive financial information secure so they can’t use it against you.
Online banking security
However, when we tested the online bank accounts of 11 volunteers, we found too many banks prioritising ease of log in over online banking security.
Several of them allowed our volunteers to access a light version of their account using only a few pieces of information that could potentially be guessed by fraudsters.
Once in, those criminals wouldn’t be able to move money directly without scaling another level of security, but they would have access to all sorts of personal information.
Our campaign on scams
Online fraud continues to rise at a staggering rate, as every new set of crime stats attest. In response, this spring Which? launched its Safeguard us from Scams campaign to encourage government and industry to do more to keep us all safe online.
Last month, we also submitted a super-complaint to the financial services regulator, calling for greater protection for consumers against bank transfer fraud.
This type of fraud has seen criminals trick victims into voluntarily transferring large sums, sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds, with no legal right to reimbursement from their bank.
We think banks should do more to identify these high-risk transfers and protect customers.
We’ll keep fighting your corner, and while we do we’d like to hear from you. Have you ever been approached by would-be scammers armed with privileged information about you? Do you think your own bank is doing enough to keep your money safe?