Mobile phone snatching is on the rise

The trend to snatch victim’s mobile phones to access their per­son­al and con­fi­den­tial infor­ma­tion is grow­ing.

The South African Bank­ing Risk Infor­ma­tion Cen­tre (SABRIC) act­ing Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer, Susan Pot­gi­eter warns bank cus­tomers if they don’t secure their mobile phones, crim­i­nals will steal them and use sev­er­al ways to access their impor­tant infor­ma­tion.

“Per­son­al infor­ma­tion is a valu­able com­mod­i­ty for crim­i­nals since so much of it is on our phones, we need to take mobile secu­ri­ty,” said Pot­gi­eter.

She fur­ther warns that crim­i­nals access open appli­ca­tions on mobile phones whose own­ers don’t lock to view sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion.

“They use social engi­neer­ing tac­tics to get user­names and pass­words in the cloud. Crooks use var­i­ous meth­ods to call their vic­tims, dup­ing them into believ­ing it is the bank. They coerce vic­tims to reveal con­fi­den­tial infor­ma­tion, PIN num­bers and pass­words,” added Pot­gi­eter.

Pot­gi­eter alerts that vic­tims receive emails, which they believe are from the bank or a legit­i­mate ser­vice provider, ask­ing them to click on a link that requests PIN num­bers or pass­words.

“Once com­pro­mised pass­word on your snatched phone, oth­er cre­den­tials are avail­able. Besides social engi­neer­ing, they com­pro­mise your cre­den­tials through shoul­der surf­ing in pub­lic places such as restau­rants,” added Pot­gi­eter.

If your mobile phone is lost or stolen, said Pot­gi­eter bor­row a phone and con­tact your bank to deac­ti­vate your bank­ing app and to block your account.

“Make sure you always have your bank hot­line num­ber stored some­where. If you have acti­vat­ed the Find My iPhone’ or ‘Find my Device from the web to locate or wipe your device, know that fraud­sters may try to Vish or Phish you.”

It isn’t safe for the vic­tims to click on any link when they receive an email or SMS after block­ing their account.

“When thieves steal mobile phones, they focus on pro­tect­ing their pho­tos and social media pro­files, and but, their high­est pri­or­i­ty is to pro­tect their mon­ey.” Con­cludes Pot­gi­eter.

To fur­ther pro­tect your­self, vis­it


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