While a victim reflects on what he calls naivety, Waikato Police are warning owners of electronic devices to check their security settings after a tourist’s bank account was emptied when his tablet was stolen over the weekend.
District Prevention Manager, Inspector Kent Holdsworth, said a 39-year-old man visiting Hamilton from Australia reported his rental car had been broken into while it was parked at a friend’s home.
“The car was parked up the driveway of the Clarkin Rd property and when he awoke on Sunday morning he found several items including his tablet had been stolen from the boot.
“A short time later the victim came back to the Police Station to advise that offenders had managed to clear out his bank account using credit card details captured when he had purchased various apps such as music, movies and game credits.”
Mr Koldsworth said the victim blamed naivety for the ease in which the thieves accessed his accounts but said Police inquiries suggest a lot of people could easily fall victim to the same type of offending.
“In light of this we’ve sought advice from the New Zealand Bankers’ Association who advise customer security is a major priority for banks in this country and their members work hard to prevent customers from becoming victims of any kind of financial crime.
“An example of this is bank systems monitor account use and can detect unusual spending patterns to help prevent attempts by fraudsters to access accounts. To that end; some tips to help prevent becoming a victim of fraud are included below.”
Fraud safety tips
If you use your mobile device for banking:
• Use your device’s password lock feature.
• Change your passwords periodically, and make sure they are not easily guessable.
• Shield your passwords from people around you.
• Contact your bank immediately if you lose your device or it is stolen.
• Only download apps from trusted sources.
• Keep device operating systems up to date, and update apps when prompted.
• If available, use anti-virus software.
• Check your statements. Advise your bank immediately of any unauthorised transactions.
When shopping and banking online:
• Logon to internet banking by typing in your bank’s full web address. Do not use links that appear to take you to your bank’s website.
• Check you have a secure connection, which is shown by a padlock symbol somewhere on the page, and that the website address starts with ‘https://’. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’.
• Avoid public computers and public Wi-Fi for internet banking, e.g. internet cafes, libraries or hotels.
• Protect your identity information and only provide it to trusted people and organisations. This includes your date of birth, address, driver’s licence number and passport details.
• Shop with trusted retailers. Before you provide personal information make sure they will protect that information.
• Keep your anti-virus and firewall software up to date.
• If you suspect you’ve been taken in by a scam, contact your bank and Police immediately.