Internet Café Banking Fraud

How the scam works:

Using the Internet on your own laptop or smartphone while traveling is most convenient but Internet cafés are still popular because they can be cheaper.

Easy to imagine, scammers are targeting tourists who do their banking in Internet cafes – South Africa, Thailand, Venezuela, Brazil and Bolivia –and now the United States– the countries with the highest rate of this scam being reported.

Usually the crooks work hand in hand with somebody at the shop — most of the time, the owners are not involved at all, only the part-time workers.

There are two ways you can be victimized in these shops: some have security cameras pointed at keyboards and screens, while others have spyware installed, to monitor keystrokes and gather passwords and personal information to access bank accounts.

Of course the victims suspect nothing and won't realize their accounts have been drained until it’s too late. They may eventually be able to get their money back depending on their insurance coverage, but most of the times it’s almost impossible.

How to avoid:

Never do your banking on a public computer. If you really have to use one, look for those that are available at reputable institutions. Also, making a point of changing your login and password often is a smart move, although many people don’t do that. And it doesn't hurt to place a book or hand over your fingers when you're typing.

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