Mon | Oct 15, 2018

Jamaican banks unite against cybercrime

Published:Sunday | October 9, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Jamaica's banking sector is rolling out a campaign meant to make customers more alert to and mindful of online security to safeguard their finances amid rising cyberattacks that appear to be growing more sophisticated.

The initiative dubbed Protect Yourself Online! is a collaboration of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, First Global Bank, JMMB Merchant Bank, the National Commercial Bank Jamaica, Sagicor Bank and Scotiabank Jamaica.

The campaign, which urges bank clients to 'stop and think before you click' while executing electronic transactions, was launched September 30 on the eve of cybersecurity awareness month.

"The campaign seeks to raise awareness among Jamaicans about possible online threats to their accounts and finances and empowers customers, through education, to enable them to develop good online-safety habits," said the banks in a statement.

The campaign also provided tips on what customers should look for and how to secure their online transactions. Here's what the banks say you need to know in the words of the campaign:


1. ABM/Card Fraud


Research into scamming trends has highlighted different points of access and multiple approaches to compromising the security of electronic channels. Those identified as prevalent in Jamaica include ABM/card fraud and phishing scams.

Skimming of both debit and credit cards is on the rise as information stored on the magnetic tape at the back of cards is lifted using an electronic device known as a skimmer. Once collected, the information is often used to clone cards, providing access to withdraw money from your account or make purchases.

ABMs are also under threat. Here are some tips customers can use to help safeguard themselves:

- Consumers are encouraged to inspect the machine for items that may have been installed over or around the PIN pad. It is important to avoid ABMs that have attachments pointed in the direction of the PIN pad. This may be used to house a camera and record your PIN.

- Once inside an ABM, lightly pull the card slot to uncover signs of tampering, which include a loose or detached card slot, or the presence of double-sided tape that may be used by skimmers to ensure quick and easy removal. An ABM showing signs of possible tampering should be avoided at all costs and reported.

- If the infrastructure appears untampered, caution must still be exercised. it is helpful to use the unoccupied hand to cover the hand entering the PIN on a keypad. This can prevent recording by pinhole cameras. Customers are also advised to be aware of the ABM's surroundings and any possible loiterers. Additionally, accepting assistance from strangers when using ABMs can be dangerous.


2. Internet Fraud


Phishing, on the other hand, takes place when a person sends an email requesting personal information with the aim to use it to gain access to bank accounts and carry out other illegal activities.

Such emails can hold corporate logos, links to false websites, requests for users to update or confirm private information and suggestions of consequences for not following included instructions.

It is advisable that suspicious emails and any links they contain be ignored.

For more on the campaign and security tips, visit