Euro zone banks face growing risks until 2023

Taking care of money in the digital age

Before the first coins were minted in the world, taking care of each person’s heritage was already important. In ancient times, the greatest risk involved in the loss of that heritage was physical theft by a thief. Now, with the evolution of information technologies and their incursion into the financial field, there has also been a radical change in the methods and practices used by thieves to steal people’s money.

As a result of the use of credit cards, electronic transfers, online payments and electronic commerce, lovers of what belongs to others implement increasingly sophisticated ways to be able to acquire a person’s goods without their realizing it.

In the case of the years 2020 and 2021, which were atypical due to the pandemic, the use of electronic services and online commerce grew exponentially, showing the advantages of these services. However, with this growth came a flood of fraud carried out by criminals who operate with technological strategies that allow users’ personal data to be stolen.

According to statistics from the National Commission for the Protection and Defense of Financial Services Users (Condusef), in the first quarter of 2022, approximately 1,019 million payments were made with credit and debit cards in physical and electronic stores, of which registered 3.5 million claims related to electronic financial fraud. These frauds are most often unrecognized charges on credit and debit cards, identity theft to acquire a good or line of credit, internet purchases, among others.

Phishing is one of the most popular techniques and consists of luring the user through the use of email to download an attachment or click on a link that contains a malicious program, better known as malware.

To avoid being a victim of fraud, it is very important to be alert and well informed. Simple actions can be carried out such as analyzing and being careful with the pages that are accessed and not entering ads or direct links to online merchant pages.

As another factor of prevention, it should be kept in mind that personal information that is requested through emails or SMS messages should never be provided, since all financial institutions constantly notify that they do not request information from their users by these means.

When using mobile banking it is important to take into account additional prevention points to avoid bank fraud. For example, it is advisable to download the application of the selected bank through official sites, have a strong password on the mobile device, as well as in the banking app, and always keep the software updated.

The advancement of technology offers an improvement in the quality of life. We must not forget that “better safe than sorry” and we must not lower our guard so as not to fall into digital criminal traps, so in the event of being a victim of a crime, the most important thing is to file a complaint immediately with the corresponding financial institution and before the authorities so that the pertinent investigations and legal actions can be carried out.

The financial sector is constantly improving authentication filters to give its customers peace of mind that they are being backed by a robust security system and that every day the public information available increases to avoid being caught by one of these fraud techniques.

*Gerardo Alan Rojas Luna is Associate Technology & Production at BBVA Asset Management.

e-mail: [email protected]

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