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Dear subscriber,

The threat of financial crime is real. In an increasingly digital world, none of us is safe from it.

At some point, we have all received the odd SMS about an Aramex package waiting for us at the nearest post office. If you aren't expecting a package, exercise caution because clicking this link will almost certainly take you to a spurious page where your banking credentials could be compromised.

Going by the number of emails we receive from our readers, banking fraud and financial crimes are on the rise. Of late, I have noticed a surge in complaints from readers about the increase in fraud involving their digital wallets.

With the uptake in digital wallets among tech-savvy shoppers, cyber criminals are also getting more sophisticated and using advanced technology to hack into customers' bank accounts and add their cards to digital wallets to perform fraudulent transactions.

This raises questions about the security measures put in place by financial institutions.

Besides staying alert, customers are advised to use biometric or two-factor PIN authentication to use their digital wallets.

I recently spoke to an Abu Dhabi resident who lost about Dh10,000 in the space of a couple of minutes after cyber criminals in China hacked her online banking app and connected her credit card to their Apple Pay to perform transactions.

It's been more than a month since the incident occurred and her bank says she is liable to make the payment in her current credit card statement. The customer is at her wits' end and has filed a complaint with the police and the UAE Central Bank.

This could happen to any of us, so it's crucial to keep our devices' operating systems up-to-date, have a multilayered approach to security and remain alert at all times. Better safe than sorry.

Don't forget to scroll down to check out our readers' money-saving tip – this week, we look at why checking your credit score once a year is important to stay on top of your finances. Get in touch with us at pf@thenationalnews.com to share your best tips.

Deepthi Nair
Personal Finance Reporter

 

UAE bank fraud: Criminals increasingly focusing on contactless transactions

Abu Dhabi resident Nadeen Awwad encountered a case of fraud involving her First Abu Dhabi Bank credit card on April 6. Three unauthorised contactless payments totalling about Dh10,500 ($2,859) were made using her card in the space of two to three minutes.

She reported the fraud immediately to her bank and was told that these contactless transactions were being made in China.

Within the same hour the fraud was committed, she filed a transaction dispute form and the bank said they would revert in about 120 days.

Later, she was told that FAB’s fraud investigation team had determined that the fraudster had hacked her online banking app and connected her credit card to their Apple Pay for the transactions. The bank said it could not retrieve the funds due to the contactless nature of the payments, leaving Ms Awwad liable for the amount.

Read the full story by Deepthi Nair …

 

How mobile money apps can help improve financial planning

Consumers and businesses alike benefit from the efficiency of mobile money solutions, as they streamline operations and enable a more fluid exchange of goods and services.

This shift towards contactless and mobile payments also influences consumer spending by offering a layer of security that traditional cash transactions often lack.

The encrypted nature of digital transactions adds a level of protection against theft and loss, further increasing the attractiveness of these payment methods.

Read the full story by Eric Karobia …

 

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Money & Me

 

Money-saving tip #54

Check your credit report once a year as part of your annual financial health check-up.

Go through your credit report from Al Etihad Credit Bureau to look for inaccuracies or opportunities to raise your credit score.

The credit score is a three-digit number that predicts the likelihood of a person or company missing payments in the next 12 months, the AECB says on its website.

You could spot problems such as a bank making an error when it comes to paying off your credit card every month – which would drag down your credit score – or discovering that you have been the victim of identity theft and fraudsters have borrowed money in your name.

A strong credit score will make it easier and cheaper to borrow as you'll be offered better interest rates.

Have you got a great money-saving tip? Email it to us at pf@thenationalnews.com for a chance to be featured.

 
 

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Updated: May 14, 2024, 6:50 AM
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