What is an account takeover and how does one happen?
An account takeover is a type of fraud where criminals target online accounts to use them for their own purposes. It can happen to anyone, and any type of online account could be taken over by fraudsters, including financial accounts, shopping accounts, subscriptions, social media accounts and email accounts.
This type of fraud happens when a criminal gains access to your account by stealing your identity. In the case of the takeover of a financial account, the fraudster may use your personal information to open new accounts, transfer money between accounts or steal money from you.
There are several ways a fraudster can get your information. In many cases, they’ll use social engineering and hacking techniques to get sensitive information from you or remotely access your devices.
Criminals will often use fake phone numbers to pose as customer support agents to trick you into giving them your account details and personal information. They then use this data to access and take over your accounts.
Fraudsters might also ask you to download software or grant them permission to access your phone, tablet or computer so that they can “fix a problem”. Once a criminal has infiltrated your device, they can put up a fake screen while they work in the background to gather information and steal passwords.
These criminals may even upload viruses or malware to your device to track your keystrokes, monitor your online movements and download information.
How to keep your account secure
The following tips can help you keep your account safe and secure, and out of the hands of fraudsters:
- Keep your banking, card and account information secure and never share personal or financial information with third parties
- Use a unique username and password for each of your accounts
- Keep the software on your devices updated and make sure you have the latest antivirus protection installed
- Don't click links or attachments in emails, no matter who sent them to you. Always access websites directly to log in to your accounts
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks when accessing sensitive information
- Never share your PIN, passwords or one-time passcodes
- Don’t store any personal information, financial details or passwords on your devices
How Skrill keeps your account safe
All Skrill accounts are protected by two-factor authentication to help keep your account secure.
Your account login, personal details and transaction details are also kept safe using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology with high-security 128-bit encryption, certified by VeriSign.
If you have a Skrill Prepaid Mastercard® you’ll benefit from a security feature called 3D Secure which authenticates certain online transactions and ensures your money is safe.
What to do if you’re a victim of an account takeover
If you think your account has been compromised, there are some steps that you can take to protect yourself:
- Contact your financial services provider immediately. If you think someone has gained access to your Skrill account, file a report through your account or contact us directly.
- Change the passwords on all your accounts that use the same username and password. This includes financial, social media, email and shopping accounts
- Disconnect from the internet and remove any remote access software if you think fraudsters have gained access to your devices
· Report the scam to your local law enforcement or the police. If you’re based in the UK, you can also report scams to Action Fraud UK, or to the cybercrime unit of your national police force if you’re based outside of the UK