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We take your security seriously and that is why we have a number of systems and security protocols in place to guard you while you do internet banking, and to make sure you are safe from identity theft or any other online threats. That way no matter where or when you logon, you know you are protected.
Absa’s internet banking is built using state-of-the-art technologies that provide a high degree of security. The security infrastructure comprises a firewall, intrusion detection systems (IDS), virus monitoring tools and many more. The security requirements have been implemented and audited by an international consulting firm, using internationally accepted standards and practices. Internet banking uses 128-bit digital certificate for encryption of the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) session. SSL is the industry standard for encrypted communication and ensures that customers' interaction with the bank over the internet is secure. Besides technological solutions, security is also built into the login process. Internet banking enforces the use of a minimum 8-character password including alphanumeric plus special. We also use secret question and answer to protect your online banking details.
Our internet banking service is hosted on a secure 128-bit encrypted server. This means that any information you send us is encoded for your protection.
Secure Code is a feature that helps us to identify that it is really you making the transactions. It is a unique code that will be sent to your mobile phone via SMS.
When creating a new beneficiary, doing one-time transfers, or other kinds of sensitive transactions, a special one-time password (OTP), will be sent to your mobile phone. You must type this into the indicated field for verification. These codes can only be used once, and dramatically decrease the risk of being defrauded.
Internet banking logs you out if you are inactive for 5 minutes. This gives you added protection if you forget to log yourself out.
If the incorrect PIN or password is entered three times consecutively, the internet banking service will be temporarily suspended or locked and you will have to visit your preferred branch or call our Contact Centre on +254 (20) 3900000.
Use these top 5 safety tips to help you keep your money safe and be ready to act should you
suspect any fraudulent activities:
Virtual or dynamic keyboards are designed to reduce the risk of programs that download themselves to your computer and create keystroke log that can be used to gain access to your accounts. Virtual keyboards are an important component in securing your online banking experience.
While the internet can make life very convenient with services such as online banking and shopping, there is always the underlying security risk that criminals will abuse the internet to gain access to your personal information - such as banking details - and use this to steal your money.
How to recognise a phishing scam:
Don’t be caught out! Find out what you need to look out for to avoid becoming a victim.
Fraudsters often send out emails claiming to be from Absa (or other reputable organisations) – commonly known as ‘phishing’ - many of which look very authentic as they make use of the Absa logo and corporate colours to convince you that the email is legitimate.
Often, the content of the email makes reference to your account being suspended, and the only way you can stop this suspension is to click on the link supplied and update your personal details. Although this link does not link to the real Absa website, these websites are usually designed to look exactly like the Absa site, and it becomes difficult to differentiate between this site and the real site.
There are some recurring themes that you can look out for when you receive an email, including:
Never reply to a spam email - This only confirms that your email address is active, and will spur the fraudsters on to send you even more spam.
Delayed phishing attacks:
In some cases, fraudsters may obtain your access credentials long before any attempt is made to defraud your account. It is very important to change your banking logon information such as your username and password regularly to prevent delayed phishing attacks.
Steps to avoid being a victim of phishing attacks:
Although we have a number of security measures in place to protect you, your awareness is the key to avoid being a victim of phishing attacks, so bear the following in mind when you receive an email claiming to be from Absa:
We will automatically disable your access to internet banking if three incorrect attempts are made to log in using your details. This is to stop fraudsters making repeated attempts to log into your accounts.
Follow these simple tips to enjoy a secured online banking experience:
It is vital that you are aware of some measures that you can take to make you more secure online, such as:
A fraudster is able to perform an illegitimate SIM swap with your cellphone service provider by for example carrying a false copy of your identity document. This allows the fraudster full use of your cellphone account and to receive messages intended for you. They will also receive the confidential banking notifications and approval SMSs that the bank sends to customers. If they have already tricked you to give them your personal and account details, they can transfer money from your account without you knowing.
With the convenience of cellphone banking comes the responsibility of ensuring the security of your account:
Always remember to log out once you have finished banking.
Make sure you bank safely on your mobile device. We all use apps on the go — and with our app, it just became so much easier to get your banking done in those 'in-between' moments.
Keep these handy safety tips in mind when using an app:
If you doubt the legitimacy of the banking app, contact the bank on +254 (20) 3900000.
We will not ask you to confirm the following telephonically:
When we contact you, we will have your card number and you will only need to confirm a few digits.
If you receive a secure code/OTP and you are not transacting, please contact our Customer Service Line on +254 (20) 3900000.
Tips to avoid cheque fraud
Be especially vigilant when it comes to suspicious cheque deposits into your account, and take note of the following:
When receiving cheques, be aware of the following:
Have you been asked to change the bank details for a client or supplier? This may be an attempt to defraud you.
Change-of-bank-account-details scam is clients receive requests, purporting to be from genuine clients or suppliers, asking them to change the bank details used for electronic payments.
These perpetrators go to the extent of diverting correspondence from the targeted business to verify the notification to one of them, who will then validate the instruction. Always make sure that it is indeed your supplier that you are communicating with.
If you believe you are a victim of this type of fraud, report it immediately to your relationship executive. Use the Absa Customer Service contact centre on +254 (20) 3900000 or visit the nearest police station.
Some recommendations to reduce the risks:
Minimise your risk of theft while travelling internationally:
When you travel internationally, you will need money to make purchases. To minimise your risk of your money being stolen, you should spread the risk across a Cash Passport, cash, and your credit card (if you have one).
Always bear the following safety tips in mind when travelling internationally:
Spending options - Cash, Cash Passport, credit cards:
A Cash Passport is the perfect option for point-of-sale devices and cash withdrawals while abroad. It is pre-loaded with an amount of your choice (which can be added to at any stage), and is accepted worldwide at shops and ATMs displaying the Visa Electron sign. Cash is ideal for immediate purchases (such as drinks and food at the departure and arrival airports), as credit cards are not always accepted and are preferred for larger transactions.
Stay in touch with Absa while you travel:
To stay in touch with Absa and to keep an eye on your accounts back home and transact when needed, we advise you to register for mobile banking.
Online shopping is quick, easy, and convenient - however, there are still some safety factors that need to be considered when using your credit card to make purchases online:
When you do your banking at any of our Absa ATMs, always ensure that you remain alert and vigilant so that you don’t become a victim of fraud or crime.
ATM safety tips:
Know when you are targeted! Cybercrime comes in many different methods, and the best way to protect your money and your identity is to take precaution and know what to look out for. Below are types of scams known to mislead and defraud customers.
What is Phishing?
Phishing is one of the most common forms of social engineering. Chances are you have already seen quite a few phishing emails, and you might not even know it.
Some phishing emails are easy to spot – like the ones claiming to be from the Prince of Nigeria who needs your help laundering millions of dollars. Others – like emails that claim to be from your bank or someone you work with – are much harder to detect.
These days, spam – or unsolicited email – makes up over 70 percent of all email traffic. Most spam email gets caught and filtered before we even see it. Phishing emails, however, make it to our inbox much more often because attackers take more time to carefully create emails that look authentic. Hackers who send phishing emails are usually trying to accomplish one of three things:
These are all methods that hackers can use to take control of your information, steal your identity, or gain access to your company’s networks, systems, applications and data. Falling for a phishing attack is handing over your keys to the safe.
What is Vishing?
Vishing is a telephonic fraud tactic that works similar to Phishing. The fraudster would contact you telephonically, pretending to be a bank representative or other authoritative person, who requires information such as your ID number, banking details and login credentials to your online banking profile, in order to solve a problem or prevent your account from being closed. Vishing is difficult to trace especially now that fraudsters can mask their numbers, leading a victim to believe that the call is from a legitimate source or by diverting their number to a legitimate number. Clients can protect themselves by always being vigilant and never sharing theirPIN, password, passcode, and transaction verification or card CVV number with anyone.
SMiShing, or SMS Phishing, occurs when a fraudster sends a text message to an individual's cellphone in an attempt to get them to divulge personal or sensitive information. Similar to Phishing or Vishing, a SMiShing attack usually requires the victim to respond by clicking on the link provided, in order to either update their security, or to unlock their account. The SMiShing URL gets shortened using bit.ly URL in certain cases and are sent to multiple recipients using different cellphone numbers.
The SMiShing link requests the following information:
Please do not click on these links and divulge any personal information.
If a fraudster has a false copy of your identity document, they can perform an illegitimate SIM swap with your cellphone service provider. The fraudster now has full use of your cellphone account and will receive messages intended for you. They will also receive the confidential banking notifications and approval SMSs that the bank sends to customers.
If they have already tricked you to give them your personal and account details, they can transfer money from your account without you knowing. If Absa becomes aware of a SIM swap, a temporary hold is placed on your account to allow you to authenticate yourself.
If the SIM swap was legitimate, you can wait out the 36 hours or authenticate yourself by calling our Contact Centre on +254 (20) 390000. Once you have been verified as the actual Absa customer, the hold will be lifted.
Watch out for this cellphone scam that enables fraudsters to port your number and gain access to your accounts.
Fraudsters port the victim’s number from one cellphone service provider to another. Some cellphone service providers send SMSs for the account holder to confirm that they are transferring to another service provider. When these confirmation messages are ignored, the porting goes through and the fraudsters have access to the victim’s cellphone messages, including the approval SMSs that the bank sends to customers.
If they have already tricked you into giving them your personal and account details, they can transfer money from your account without you knowing. Always keep your cellphone switched on and don’t ignore messages from your service provider.
Be aware and pay special attention to all messages received from your network service provider regarding Twin SIM functionality.
Do not switch off your phone. Take note of any logon notifications when you are not logging on to internet banking yourself.
Card skimming occurs while you are making a payment or withdrawal (at a restaurant, garage, ATM or retailer). The criminal either has direct access to your card (to process the payment) or the device is attached to the slot of the ATM. All Absa ATMs have Jitter technology that makes your card shudder slightly when you insert it into an ATM as an added safety feature.
This is in place so that if a card skimming device is present, it will only capture scrambled data. Card skimming devices are generally smaller than a deck of cards, and are hand-held (often fitting snugly into the palm of the hand); which is why people are not aware of what is happening until they are defrauded at a later stage.
What can you do to avoid being scammed?
Always keep an eye on your card when making a transaction; and scrutinise your bank statements to ensure that you spot and report irregular transactions that may occur on your account.
What should you do if your card is skimmed?
If your card has been skimmed, you need to contact your bank immediately and ensure that your card is blocked. This will ensure that the criminals can’t do any more transactions using your account details. The bank may ask you to:
Will I be reimbursed?
Depending on your bank or the means used to remove the funds from your account, your bank may reimburse you. Each case is individually assessed and circumstances of the loss are considered to determine if any claims will be refunded.
If a 'fraudulent' transaction has taken place where your card is used together with your PIN, the transaction is usually identified as authentic, and you will not be reimbursed. Never keep your PIN number and card together; rather memorise your PIN.
If you receive an email with an offer that seems too good to refuse, it probably is a 419 scam.
We have all received those badly-spelled, lengthy emails that tell you in detail how you have won the lotto; or that they will give you large sums of money in return for helping them; all they need are your bank details or some cash. It may sound like an opportunity you can’t miss — but be wary of offers like these.
What is a 419 scam?
A 419 scam usually consists of a letter, email, SMS or fax that tells the intended victim that they will receive a large sum of money due to something like winning the lottery, a job offer, a joint venture or an inheritance. The sender then requests your bank account information so that they could transfer the money into your account, with the additional request that you send money to “help the transfer along”. Many people send thousands before they realise that they have been taken in by a scam.
What does a 419 scam look like?
If you receive an SMS or email, and you are not sure if it is a 419 scam, there are some markers that you can look out for:
I have received a 419 scam email — what do I do with it?
Firstly, do not reply. These emails are sent out in bulk to a number of email addresses in the hope that someone falls for the scam. These should be deleted immediately.
Call us on:
+254 (20) 3900000 (Landline)
+254 (722) 130120 (Mobile)
+254 (732) 130120 (Mobile)
Chat to Abby on WhatsApp:
+254 710 130000