In the current pandemic environment, your account holders are turning to the digital channel as their primary method for banking. This trend doesn’t stop with their accounts, though; people are using the digital channel to shop for groceries, interact with friends and family, and stay entertained at remarkably expanding rates. This elevated activity comes with an increased threat of digital fraud and theft, making it imperative for FIs to equip account holders with the knowledge they need to be watchful against attacks.

Unfortunately, many account holders learn about digital fraud the hard way, only realizing their vulnerabilities after becoming the victim of a successful attempt. By folding the following steps into your FI’s security strategy, you can help keep their assets and information safe.

1. Stay informed about the latest fraud schemes—and share your knowledge.

The internet is inundated with notoriously unreliable information, and account holders may not know what information is reliable. You know the threats, but they may not. That’s why increasing awareness is crucial. Here are some frequent attack strategies account holders should be on the lookout for:

  • Phishing sites that mimic legitimate websites, or rogue apps that fraudulently imitate an organization’s official app, both designed to extract credentials, deliver malware, or both;
  • Social engineering attempts via phone or email, where fraudsters pose as an FI or a government agency to obtain login credentials or other sensitive data; and
  • Other schemes offering opportunities that are too good to be true, such as illicit work-from-home schemes, manipulative matchmaking plots, or fake coronavirus relief scams.

Consider all messaging avenues to help drive awareness, such as email campaigns, online banking messages, social media, as well as less sophisticated approaches like “snail mail” and statement stuffers.

2. Leverage “step-up” security authentication.

Requiring “step-up” authentication as an additional layer of protection for risky transactions and unidentified devices can reduce the likelihood of successful fraud attempts that can compromise not only an FI’s assets but their reputation as well.

3. Review transactional limit levels.

As more people access digital banking during this time, it may be prudent to re-evaluate your institution’s transactional limits. By identifying a lower limit that accommodates the majority of your account holders’ needs, you can reduce the risk exposure if an attack is successful.

By adding these easy but meaningful approaches to their digital security strategy, FIs can make significant headway in strengthening their fraud defenses, helping to protect their members’ and customers’ financial interests, and positioning themselves as the ever-present companion on their account holders’ financial journey.