How Seniors Can Protect Their Money

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A panel of financial experts shared tips on what seniors can do to protect their money from card fraud and manage their money well.

Card fraud remains a growing risk for consumers, even more so for senior consumers who are often the most vulnerable to fraudulent attempts. Thus, the need to remain vigilant when using or managing your bank card remains essential to protect you from fraudsters.

Bridgette Walsh Kruger, CEO of FNB Private Clients, said: “We strongly encourage clients, and even more so our senior clients, to always apply certain precautionary measures to protect against possible fraud during the transaction. Protecting yourself isn’t just limited to your physical bank card, it also means being mindful and practicing safe banking behavior at ATMs, over the phone, or through your card details which can be used to purchase goods online.

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“It is also important to note that if someone neglects to protect their bank details, they could unfortunately find themselves responsible for the debts accumulated by criminals who have fraudulently accessed their bank card information.

Managing your money is a collective effort between the client and the bank; however, criminals are aware that banks continue to make substantial investments in security systems; therefore, they primarily target customers when they attempt to defraud. Often the victims are senior clients who either take in unsolicited help or people who, unfortunately, are unaware of this modus operandi.

“To avoid this, people need to be informed, educated, and help seniors and all other customers bank safely without falling victim to fraud. Bank cards have many security features designed to minimize fraud while improving convenience, but card security is a two-way street that requires consumers to exercise caution to avoid falling victim to fraudulent activity. Said Trish Ramdhani, chief fraud officer at FNB.

Ramdhani said bank customers should not only be vigilant when using their cards in physical environments such as ATMs, but they should also exercise extra caution when using virtual or digital platforms. , such as a banking app, online banking, mobile phone banking and online merchants.

Ramdhani advised seniors to always remember the following card security basics when banking:

• Take note of the card security measures recommended by your bank

There is a lot of misinformation about how people can prevent card fraud, but it’s always best to follow your bank’s recommendations for card security, in addition to conventional ways of keeping your valuables safe. .

“Do not listen to anyone who suggests using reckless measures that could affect the quality and functionality of your card. Bank cards are designed to perform specific tasks and contain many security details, which may not be visible to the naked eye; therefore, tampering could cause irreparable damage, ”Ramdhani said.

• Do not keep your card with your PIN code
This is one of the golden rules of card security, but it is often ignored as people cannot anticipate losing their purse or wallet, which tends to store such valuables. Better safe than sorry and memorize your PIN code instead of writing it down on a piece of paper or saving it on your phone.

• Do not divulge sensitive information to anyone who claims to be calling from the bank
People who claim to be calling from a bank may not be from the bank. Always know who you are dealing with. Fraudsters may contact you claiming to be calling from a bank’s fraud department to help you with a fraudulent transaction or debit order. The purpose of the fraudulent call is to obtain sensitive information such as your One Time PIN (OTP) from you.

Fraudsters may also ask you to initiate a transaction on the app or online banking as part of the fraud cancellation process. Banks will never ask you to process a transaction to reverse the fraud. Additionally, banks will never ask you for your OTP or confidential information such as your bank password. If in doubt, end the call and contact the number on the back of your card or report fraud and immediately cancel your cards on the banking app.

• Take advantage of contactless payments
The introduction of new payment technologies, such as contactless payments, gives consumers much more control over their bank cards, meaning you don’t have to part with your card when making payments at home. merchants who accept contactless payments.

• Be careful when buying online
When purchasing goods and services online, it is important to make sure that you are dealing with a reputable service provider before sharing your card details. Don’t just click on the first link you come across; instead, type the web address of the service provider you intend to use.

• Beware of phishing, scammers and impersonators
Scammers often pretend to be someone you can trust, such as a bank manager, insurance agent, or even a job provider. They may try to persuade you to reveal sensitive information like an OTP or your login credentials. Do not disclose any card details, email address, and other personal information to unknown people. Avoid replying to such text messages, phone calls or emails. FNB and its representatives will never ask you for your OTP or login credentials, or perform an in-app transaction to “reverse” a so-called fraudulent transaction.

Card payments offer many benefits to consumers and far outweigh the risks and expenses associated with handling cash. Over the years, we have seen a lasting increase in the number of consumers who prefer to use their bank cards to pay for goods and services. However, the need to prioritize security should not be overlooked, ”Ramdhani said.

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