With the rising number of cyber-attacks instigated by black hat hackers, the banking system is in jeopardy as oblivious customers are prone to these attacks. Different policing agents are aligning their focus in the fight to bring down the cyber cartels causing the public sleepless nights.
Recently, the cybercrime unit belonging to the Federal Investigation Agency in Pakistan apprehended a key member of an organized gang which was involved in telephone banking fraud. The gang is said to have been terrorizing Pakistani people by defrauding them of their money for a long time now. There are numerous reported cases where Pakistani bank customer details are up for grabs on the dark web marketplaces.
The unit has been congratulated by many who see the arrest as a significant breakthrough. It is suspected the gang has been acquiring user credentials via telephone, pretending to be from the bank, thereby luring the customers to surrender their credentials and thus easily siphoning their cash.
According to the Assistant Director of the Federal Investigation Agency, the suspect was identified as Shabbir. The agency received a tip on the suspect’s suspicious acts by another cybercriminal, identified as Shafiq, who was at that time in police custody. He was arrested back on September 28 after an intensive investigation by the agency.
The agency is interrogating the two main key suspects in the illegal business in order to find any other link that may bring down the rest of the gang members. It was reported that they gave very crucial information on the whereabouts of their team members.
According to Federal Investigation Agency officials, they are expecting more raids that will yield more arrests in different places around Punjab.
According to the detailed police report, a day before the arrest of the main suspect, Shabbir, there were two more cases involving bank hacking that had been uncovered in Punjab. The hackers involved are said to have siphoned a life-savings bank account belonging to a teacher and another local person.
The hackers were said to have stolen over RsO 3.2 million which belonged to victims from Pakpattan and others from Bahawalnagar.
In another case, law enforcement reported an attack that led to a group of hackers acquiring RsO 2 million. It was reported the hackers compromised the bank account of a teacher identified as Abdul Ghafar.
According to the details provided by the affected teacher, a man disguising himself as a bank officer called him and claimed to be investigating a fraud case. As soon as he provided his credentials to the man, his account was compromised and the money siphoned to another bank account; he was oblivious of the acts.
How to protect your bank account this holiday
As the number of bank accounts compromised this year is growing, there are several ways in which you may want to mitigate any possible malicious attacks. Most of the security measures needed to protect yourself are personal and straightforward.
The main thing you can do is to make sure that your credit card is safe and not physically accessible to other people. This provides a sense of ownership since no interference by other people may happen.
It is also highly advisable that you activate a two-factor authentication system. By requiring a message be sent to your phone each time your credit card is used to access bank accounts, scammers will be unable to use the card illegally.
It is also advisable that you reduce the amount of times you swipe your credit card as much as possible. Paying with cash is better as it will reduce chances of your credit card being added to the list of compromised databases. This is because most cybercriminals are targeting the point of sale used in supermarkets, stores and, also, gas stations.
The other vital measure needed to secure your bank account from fraud is to regularly check your balance and to keep it in mind. Some cybercriminals will siphon little by little until your account is empty without your knowledge. To mitigate this possibility, understanding all transactions and noting down the actual balance will help you identify if there is any compromised detail of your bank account.
Nonetheless, all this will trickle down to the installed security measures put in place by your particular bank.