Phishing, vhishing and pharming… Say what?


Cyber attacks come in so many forms and new techniques pop up all the time, it’s hard to keep up. Here are some of the ways criminals try to steal your money:

Common cyber attacks

  1. Phishing: Criminals will send you emails that seem to be from trusted sources or companies, like Discovery, often promising a reward or refund, to deceitfully obtain your personal information including passwords, identity number, login details and credit card details. The goal is always to steal your money. If you’ve responded to a phishing email, change your banking login details immediately and let us know.
  2. Vishing: Similar to phishing in that the objective is to obtain personal information fraudulently, vishing tricks people into disclosing information over a phone call, rather than visiting a website. You may receive a phone call, SMS or email notifying you that your account has been hacked. You then have to dial a number to sort it out. Criminals use this urgency to get you to act before you’ve had an opportunity to become suspicious. When you dial the number, they ask you for your personal information. Don’t share anything and ask for verification details.
  3. Pharming: This is a cyber attack intended to redirect a website’s traffic to another, fake site which then aims to steal your information and/or money. In a pharming attack, the criminal hacks into the site you have opened and redirects you to an imposter site. Much like a phishing scam, many of us won't notice any difference in the rogue site, and will enter our username and password, or credit information as usual. The attacker then captures the information.

How to counter cyber attacks

  1. Gear up. Protect your devices, including tablets and cellphones, by installing anti-malware (short for malicious software) and antivirus software.
  2. Watch where you surf. Be smart when you navigate the internet. Avoid suspicious websites, as much as you avoid clicking on links in suspicious email messages. This will prevent malware from accessing your computer.
  3. Even when you’re safe, be wary. Pharming is dangerous because you could have a “clean” computer or device and still be a victim. Taking precautions such as manually entering in the website address or always using trusted bookmarks isn't enough, because the misdirection happens after the computer sends a connection request. Watch out for when a website address looks odd, with symbols replacing letters, e.g. st@r” or if the site asks for information that it normally does not, and check to ensure there’s a lock icon in the address bar which shows a website is secure. Also look for ‘https://’ in the web address which tells you your information is encrypted and secure.

Your security and the privacy of your personal information are our priority. If you suspect irregular activity on your Discovery Bank account, please call our Fraud team on +27 11 324 4444.

It’s time to bank healthier

Discovery Bank is the world's first behavioural bank. Our main goal is to improve your financial health by helping change how you work with your money. Through Vitality Money, you'll learn more about what it means to be financially healthy and you'll get rewarded for managing your money well. Track your progress easily on our app and steadily improve your Vitality Money status. You'll get rewarded as you get financially healthier. How much you get out is up to you.

Join the world's first behavioural bank that motivates and rewards you for banking well.

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