Living in the age of leapfrogging technology is one of the best blessings mankind could ask for, but it is increasingly becoming clear that such marvels of innovation come at a price.
SIM swap is the latest ingenious entrant to join the cyber-fraud party. The little-reported scam overrides additional security introduced by banks, by commandeering a victim’s mobile phone account while posing as bona fide customers and eventually gaining control of the victim’s bank transactions.
While police, banks and cyber security experts are spreading awareness on the diverse frauds being perpetrated on gullible customers, the onus lies with the public to be ever vigilant and responsible for their financial protection. Sharing identity documents and disclosing financial data or social media account details to unverified agencies is an open invitation for scamsters. And ditto the case for lucrative but fraudulent campaigns which entice people to part with confidential data apparently in lieu of a million-dollar lottery. If the random offer or prize being peddled to you sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
So an abundance of caution and trust should be the guiding principle behind financial transactions — no matter how technologically sophisticated we are. Companies and institutions, however, share equal responsibility for protecting their customers. SMS, for instance, has traditionally been considered an insecure platform for financial authentication for many years.
Some financial institutions have therefore evolved to new and secure ways of banking, such as using smart PINs and voice authentication, to prevent such fraud. Similarly, companies large and small also need to constantly devise ways to protect their businesses from cyber fraud. These measures eventually need to become industry benchmarks, so that it becomes mandatory for everyone to adhere to the highest security standards.