Standard Bank Warns against Phishers

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By Staff Reporter Windhoek Standard bank namibia has issued a warning to all its internet banking clients to watch out for internet banking fraudsters who have become active again, using a practice known as “phishing”. Wikipedia defines phishers as people “who attempt to fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.” In a statement also circulated to all clients, standard bank said it had become aware of the scam and pro-actively warned all namibians not to fall prey to the fraudsters. According to the bank, internet banking customers have received calls and e-mails from a purported bank security department requesting their account information, e-mail address and existing password. They carry out the scam under the pretence of “protecting” all clients from fraud attempts, but it is just another scam targeting the internet banking customers the bank warns. Carin de klerk, head of marketing, said that a bank would never request from customers their card pin number or internet banking password. “This is contradictory to the security measurements that are in place to protect our customers,” she said. Customers should refrain from releasing any personal information to any third party and the information should be kept confidential at all times. Standard bank said its internet offering is a superior product, with one feature being the constant monitoring of the security measures that are in place.”That is why we have three security measures in place when going into internet banking, which include a card number, a pin and a password. It is next to impossible for a stranger to access any customer of standard bank’s account via the internet. “We would like to urge customers to please verify any such requests, even if they appear genuine. We prefer one too many calls from clients to our customer care centre on telephone 061 – 294 2628, than have customers fall prey to scams,” de klerk said. The bank says the e-mail below (verbatim) is an example of those sent out to customers, and while at face value it appears legal, customers are warned it is just a scam. “Dear client of standard internet banking, Due to concerns, for the safety and integrity of your account we have issued this warning message. It has come to our attention that your standard bank account information needs to be updated as part of our continuing commitment to protect your account and to reduce the instance of fraud on our website. Standard bank security department has request for your account informations including your registered email address and email address existing password. These will be use in our upcoming security enhancement which will be taking place on the 27th of march 2007. These informations are mandatory to complete your verification as a legitimate member of standard bank limited. Please take 5-10 minutes Out of your online experience and update your personal records so that you will not run into any future problems with the online service.”