The 5 top tips

Use these safety tips to help you keep your money safe and be ready to act should you suspect any fraudulent activities:

  1. Be suspicious if the process to conduct a transaction differs from the normal process.
  2. If you think that your banking profile might have been compromised, contact us immediately. 
  3. Absa will never send you an email with a link or attachment that will redirect you to what looks like a Logon page.
  4. Create complicated passwords that are not easy to decipher and change them often.
  5. Absa does call customers from time to time. If you receive a call supposedly from Absa trying to assist you in preventing a ‘crisis’, requesting your “keys to the safe” (personal banking details and internet banking credentials) it should immediately raise suspicion. Put down the phone and immediately report this to the bank on +256 (0) 312 218 348.
  • Be alert and stay safe

    Protect yourself – be alert when banking online. These tips will go a long way in ensuring your security:

    • Ensure that you do your internet banking on a secure site. The URL (web address) must start with https, the “s” indicates that it is a secure website
    • Be suspicious if the process to conduct a transaction differs from the normal process. If in doubt, do not proceed. Call the Contact Centre at +256 (0) 312 218 348.
    • Read the alerts the bank sends you carefully. If you are alerted of a transaction you did not perform or request, immediately call the Contact Centre at +256 (0) 312 218 348.
  • Phishing

    How to recognise a phishing scam:

    Don’t be caught out! Find out what you need to look out for to avoid becoming a victim.

    Fraudsters often send out emails claiming to be from Absa (or other reputable organisations) – commonly known as ‘phishing’ - many of which look very authentic as they make use of the Absa logo and corporate colours to convince you that the email is legitimate.

    Often, the content of the email makes reference to your account being suspended, and the only way you can stop this suspension is to click on the link supplied and update your personal details. Although this link does not link to the real Absa website, these websites are usually designed to look exactly like the Absa site, and it becomes difficult to differentiate between this site and the real site.

    There are some recurring themes that you can look out for when you receive an email, including:

    • Terrible grammar
    • Strange email addresses/Unknown email addresses
    • A request to click on a link in an email

    Never reply to a spam email - This only confirms that your email address is active, and will spur the fraudsters on to send you even more spam.

    Delayed phishing attacks:

    In some cases, fraudsters may obtain your access credentials long before any attempt is made to defraud your account. It is very important to change your banking logon information such as your username and password regularly to prevent delayed phishing attacks.

    Steps to avoid being a victim of phishing attacks:

    Although we have a number of security measures in place to protect you, your awareness is the key to avoid being a victim of phishing attacks, so bear the following in mind when you receive an email claiming to be from Absa:

    • Never reply to these emails, and don’t click on any links
    • Never provide your personal details such as your PIN or account details via email or on any links within these emails. We already have information like your ID number, cell number and email address and will never ask for them via email.
    • Never navigate to our site using a link from an email – always type in the address.
    • If you receive eStatements – make sure that you are opening a legitimate statement.
    • Delete spam emails immediately. Even a request to remove your email address from the mailing list will confirm to the fraudsters that your email account is active, and could open you up to more attacks.
    • Never open an email attachment unless you know who sent the message.
    • Use the latest browsers, which come with filters that alert you when you visit a website that contains potentially unsafe website.
    • Absa will never send you a letter or email asking you to complete your personal details by clicking on a link in an email.
  • Virtual or dynamic keyboards

    Virtual or dynamic keyboards are designed to reduce the risk of programs that download themselves to your computer and create keystroke log that can be used to gain access to your accounts. Virtual keyboards are an important component in securing your internet banking experience.

    • Avoid using shared computers when accessing Absa Internet Banking.
    • Avoid logging into Absa Internet Banking or using critical passwords at internet cafes, libraries, and other public sites to avoid the risk of information being copied and re-entered after you leave.
    • Change your passwords regularly.
    • Contact Absa Contact Centre on+256 (0) 312 218 348 immediately if you suspect your internet banking password has been compromised.
    • Use a password on your computer to prevent unauthorised individuals from accessing your information.
    • Disable the "AutoComplete" function of your browser.
    • Always remember to log-off internet banking and close your browser when you have finished.
  • Internet and email fraud

    While the internet can make life very convenient with services such as online banking and shopping, there is always the underlying security risk that criminals will abuse the internet to gain access to your personal information - such as banking details - and use this to steal your money.

  • SIM swap

    A fraudster is able to perform an illegitimate SIM swap with your cellphone service provider by for example carrying a false copy of your identity document. This allows the fraudster full use of your cellphone account and to receive messages intended for you. They will also receive the confidential banking notifications and approval SMSs that the bank sends to customers. If they have already tricked you to give them your personal and account details, they can transfer money from your account without you knowing. 

    You should:

    • Protect your personal, bank account and cell phone account information – also when you’re online.
    • Immediately investigate when you notice that you are not receiving calls and messages.
    • Keep your phone switched on – otherwise you will not notice when your SIM card has been swapped.
  • Access denied

    We will automatically disable your access to internet banking if three incorrect attempts are made to log in using your details. This is to stop fraudsters making repeated attempts to log into your accounts.

    Follow these simple tips to enjoy a secured online banking experience! Avoid using shared computers when accessing Absa Internet Banking:

    • Avoid logging into Absa Internet Banking or using critical passwords at internet cafes, libraries, and other public sites to avoid the risk of information being copied and re-entered after you leave.
    • Change your passwords regularly.
    • Contact Absa immediately if you suspect your online banking password has been compromised.
    • Use a password on your computer to prevent unauthorised individuals from accessing your information.
    • Disable the "AutoComplete" function of your browser.
    • Always remember to log-off internet banking and close your browser when you have finished.
  • Improve online security

    It is vital that you are aware of some measures that you can take to make you more secure online, such as:

    • Always keep your personal access information secure, and change your PIN and passwords regularly.
    • Never open a link or an attachment within an email claiming to be from Absa as this may link to a fraudulent website or download a virus or key logging software that will compromise your security.
    • Be aware that phishing scams have also been received through instant messaging systems such as Google Talk or Skype; as well as through social networking websites such as Facebook. When in doubt of the authenticity of a link or a claim, simply don’t click it.
    • Install good quality security software and ensure that you have updated to the latest version of your browser. Most of the newer browsers have the inherent ability of detecting fraudulent websites.
    • Don’t bank or shop online when using a public terminal such as those found in internet cafes, hotels, coffee shops or student labs. Key logging software could be present on the computer, and will send all your personal information to the fraudster, who could then use this information to clear out your account.
    • Before you bank online, ensure that you are actually within the secure internet banking website. Once you visit our site and click on the internet banking link, you will be redirected to an available banking server. Once there, check the browser address. It should begin with ‘https://’ (not ‘http://’). Also check the browser for a closed lock and/or key icon – which should either be at the top or the bottom of the screen.
    • When leaving your computer, always end the current session by closing your browser window, and never leave your computer unattended during an internet banking session.
  • Mobile

    With the convenience of mobile banking, comes the responsibility of ensuring the security of your account:

    • Don’t store your password or pin in clear text on your mobile device.
    • Install antivirus software on your mobile device and scan your device regularly.
    • Be wary that a 'jailbroken' device will weaken the security of your mobile device. The Absa App will not work on a jailbroken device.
    • Enable the lock screen on your phone. A password or pin is always more secure than other lock-screen options.
    • Turn off your wifi or data connections, when not in use.
    • Use the latest software version.
    • Be as vigilant on your smartphone or tablet as you would be on your computer.
    • Don’t leave your tablet or mobile device unattended while you have your banking profile open.
    • If your tablet or cellphone is stolen, remember to unlink it from your device access (this can be done on internet banking under your profile).
    • Be careful when using public wifi or hotspots to do your banking.
    • Always remember to log out once you have finished banking.
  • App

    Make sure you bank safely on your mobile device. We all use apps on the go — and with our app, it just became so much easier to get your banking done in those 'in-between' moments.

    Keep these handy safety tips in mind when using an app:

    • Read through the terms of the app and make sure that you understand the risks.
    • Check what permissions the app is requesting.
    • Download only apps from the authentic Apple App, Google Play, Windows App or Blackberry World stores.

    If you doubt the legitimacy of the banking app, contact the bank.

  • Credit and debit cards

    We will not ask you to confirm the following telephonically:

    • Credit card expiry date
    • 3-digit number on the back of the card
    • Secure code/OTP number
    • Your PIN (you will only be required to use your PIN or OTP number when transacting)

    When we contact you, we will have your card number and you will only need to confirm a few digits.

    If you receive a secure code/OTP and you are not transacting, please contact our Customer Service Line on +256 (0) 312 218 348.

  • Cheque

    Be especially vigilant when it comes to suspicious cheque deposits into your account, and take note of the following:

    • Report lost, stolen or missing cheques immediately.
    • Contact the Absa Customer Service as soon as you suspect fraudulent activity on your account.
    • When filling out a cheque, never leave space in front of the name of the payee or the amount in figures. Draw a line through all unused spaces.
    • Keep your chequebook in a safe place.
    • Don’t sign blank cheques.
    • Reconcile your bank statements regularly.
    • To ensure that a cheque is paid into the intended beneficiary's account, the cheque must be marked with the words ‘Not Transferable’ between two transverse lines at the top of the cheque.
    • Always keep your chequebook separate from your credit cards, ATM cards or any document that bears your signature.
    • If you have to post a cheque, place it in a non-transparent or dark envelope without any staples/paper clips.
    • Other payment methods are safe and convenient and can save on bank charges. These include internet banking, mobile banking, telephone banking, ATM payments, debit orders and future-dated payments.
    • If you sell something, never release goods until the payment has cleared into your account.
    • Never accept a faxed bank deposit slip as proof of payment. Details can easily be changed to reflect a higher value or to state that the deposit was made in cash.

    When receiving cheques, be aware of the following:

    • There should be no variation in the handwriting
    • The same pen should be used to complete the entire cheque
    • There should be no visible alterations
  • Business

    Have you been asked to change the bank details for a client or supplier? This may be an attempt to defraud you.

    Change-of-bank-account-details scam is clients receive requests, purporting to be from genuine clients or suppliers, asking them to change the bank details used for electronic payments.

    These perpetrators go to the extent of diverting correspondence from the targeted business to verify the notification to one of them, who will then validate the instruction. Always make sure that it is indeed your supplier that you are communicating with.

    If you believe you are a victim of this type of fraud, report it immediately to your relationship executive. Use the Absa Customer Service contact centre on +256 (0) 312 218 348 or visit the nearest police station.

    Some recommendations to reduce the risks:

    • The counterfeit invoice and covering letter may be printed on a scanned copy of the company’s letterhead and the logo may appear somewhat blurred
    • False confirming emails may be sent from almost identical email addresses, or addresses that differ from the genuine one by perhaps one letter that can be easily missed
    • Always confirm any request to change bank details with your usual contact
    • Instruct staff responsible for paying invoices to check invoices for irregularities and escalate suspicions to a known contact
    • Consider setting up designated single points of contact with companies to which you make regular payments
    • Shred your business and supplier invoices or any communication material that may contain letterheads
    • Don’t publish your bank account details on the internet, as this is company private information that can be used fraudulently
    • Consider reviewing previous requests to change account details to confirm they were genuine
    • To prevent your clients from acting on an instruction purporting to be from you, alert them to this type of fraud
  • Travel

    Minimise your risk of theft while travelling internationally: 

    When you travel internationally, you will need money to make purchases. To minimise your risk of your money being stolen, you should spread the risk across a Cash Passport, cash, and your credit card (if you have one).

    Always bear the following safety tips in mind when travelling internationally:

    • Carry any cash or credit cards as close to your body as possible. Popular options include a travel belt or a neck pouch.
    • Be aware of scams where people ask you for money or assistance in order to see where you keep your wallet or purse.
    • Keep the bulk of your money, together with vital documents, such as your passport and visa, in your hotel safe when you sightsee.

    Spending options - Cash, Cash Passport, credit cards:

    A Cash Passport is the perfect option for point-of-sale devices and cash withdrawals while abroad. It is pre-loaded with an amount of your choice (which can be added to at any stage), and is accepted worldwide at shops and ATMs displaying the Visa Electron sign. Cash is ideal for immediate purchases (such as drinks and food at the departure and arrival airports), as credit cards are not always accepted and are preferred for larger transactions.

    Stay in touch with Absa while you travel:

    To stay in touch with Absa and to keep an eye on your accounts back home and transact when needed, we advise you to register for mobile banking.

  • Carrying cash

    Individuals:

    • Carry as little cash as possible.
    • Pay your accounts electronically.
    • Make use of mobile banking.
    • Make use of internet transfers or ATMs.

    Businesses:

    • Alternate the days and times you deposit cash.
    • Never make your bank visits public.
    • Don’t openly display your money in the bank queue.
    • Avoid carrying money bags or openly displaying deposit receipt books.
    • Visit different branches to ensure your banking pattern is not recognisable.
    • Consider a cash management service.
    • Don’t pay wages in view of the public.
    • Don’t use a company-branded vehicle to go to the bank.
    • Use an electronic alternative to pay wages.

    Savings clubs:

    • Don’t make cash deposits on high-risk days.
    • Let someone accompany you when you deposit.
    • Let members deposit funds directly into the account.
    • Arrange electronic pay-out to members’ accounts.
  • Online shopping

    There are some safety factors that need to be considered when using your credit card to make purchases online:

    • Only place an order with your credit card on trusted websites that are verified as secure sites (look for the lock image on the toolbar). 
    • On the web page where you enter your credit card or other personal information, look for an 's' after ‘http://’ in the web address of that page — it should read: ‘https://’. The encryption is a security measure that scrambles your data as it is entered.
    • Ensure that the website is authentic and secure by finding out what other shoppers say. Some websites such as epinions.com and bizrate.com have customer evaluations, which can help you determine a company's legitimacy.
    • Do not send emails that contain personal information such as your card number and expiry date.
    • Use good quality antivirus software.
  • ATM

    When you do your banking at any of our Absa ATMs, always ensure that you remain alert and vigilant so that you don’t become a victim of fraud or crime.

    ATM safety tips:

    • Choose a PIN that’s difficult to guess.
    • Memorise your PIN so that you don’t have it written down anywhere.
    • Approach an ATM only under the right conditions and always be aware of your surroundings.
    • Check the area for suspicious-looking people before you approach the ATM.
    • If you think the ATM is not working, cancel the transaction immediately.
    • When you enter your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand so that no one else sees your PIN.
    • Always concentrate and keep your eyes on the screen when you are at an ATM.
    • If you need help, don’t ask anyone other than an Absa bank official.
    • Always be cautious of strangers who offer to help you at the ATM.
    • You shouldn’t use an ATM if it looks like the card slot, keypad or screen has been tampered with.
    • Ensure you get your card back every time you use it and check that it is your card.
    • If your card is lost or stolen, or it is retained or jammed, or somebody interferes with you while using an ATM, you should immediately call Absa Customer Service Contact Centre on +256 (0) 312 218 348 to report it and cancel your card.
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Need more help?

Call:

Toll Free: 0800 222 333
Tel: +256 (0) 312 218 348

Email:

absa.uganda@absa.africa
Talk to us