Consumers are easily fooled by fake banking websites, finds a survey by Melbourne IT, a digital branding firm. The survey found that many people just consider the site's "look and feel" to decide if a website is legit, according to Bank Technology News.
Almost half of survey respondents (47 percent) said they simply see if the colors and layout are like what they've seen before to decide if a website should be trusted, reveals the survey of over a 1,000 adults.
That's a disconcerting finding since criminals can easily create fake websites to steal personal financial information in phishing schemes.
For instance, just last month Southbridge Savings Bank customers received an email supposedly from the bank, urging them to update their account information, recounts Bank Technology News. Fraudsters sent a copy of the bank's website and asked customers to enter their name, password and other key financial data.
Almost half (46 percent) of survey respondents said they look for a padlock symbol to see if the site is secure, but this symbol can also be faked, according to the trade publication.
Just 6 percent admitted they don't check anything when banking online, but the real figure may be higher since some survey respondents may not be admitting the truth, the article says.
Three-fourths of respondents said they are confident about their financial information being secure online, 20 percent are not confident, and the rest said they are not sure.
A fourth said they shop online several times a year, 24 percent shop online a few times a month, and 12 percent a few times a week. Out of those who shop online less than once a month, 36 percent said they are concerned about online security.
Although some worry about online security, almost half (49 percent) said they like websites to store their personal information and preferences. Out of the rest, 35 percent don't care and 16 percent said they prefer websites that don't store their personal information.
Wells Fargo customers were recently victimized by a phishing scam asking them to fill out an online form with personal banking information.
"Wells Fargo is investigating a fraudulent email being circulated to Wells Fargo customers and non-customers," said a statement on the bank's website. "This type of fraudulent email is an industry-wide issue that has affected a number of financial institutions and online businesses in recent months."
"They got me. They reached right down and grabbed this old man by the throat," Grant Spurrier told WAVY TV 10 in Portsmouth, Va. "They got me and got me good."
Spurrier filled out a fake form, but then became suspicious and call his local bank which closed his accounts.
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