Types of Digital Crimes Affecting the Banking Industry

  • Phishing, malware, card skimming, social engineering, DDoS attacks, and fraud are the most common digital crimes targeting banks.
  • The cost of digital crime globally reached nearly six trillion dollars in 2021 due to the increased sophistication of criminals’ tactics.
  • Preventive measures such as solid cybersecurity protocols, multi-factor authentication, and staff education are crucial to protect against digital crimes.

As the world moves towards a cashless society, digital crimes have become a more significant threat to all industries, especially banking. The banking industry is an essential part of any nation’s economy, and as the world becomes increasingly digital, it’s essential to protect it from cyber threats. Digital crimes targeting the banking sector have become a severe issue – affecting both organizations and consumers. Here’s what you need to know about it and how to prevent it.

Cost of Digital Crime

The global cost of digital crime has reached nearly six trillion dollars in 2021. The banking industry is vital to any economy, but digital crimes targeting it pose a significant threat.
This is a staggering amount, primarily due to the increased sophistication of criminals’ tactics. Digital crimes targeting banks often result in stolen funds, data breaches, and even identity theft. Here’s what you need to know about it.


One of the most common forms of digital crime is phishing. Phishing typically involves an email or message containing a spoofed email address with a message asking the recipient to provide sensitive information to the sender.

Scammers often disguise themselves as banking representatives to trick people into handing over their details, usernames, or passwords. In 2020, phishing incidents worldwide increased by more than 40%. It’s important to remember that your bank will never request sensitive information via email or text message, so always be cautious and double-check the legitimacy of the message source before responding.


Malware is a program designed to perform malicious activities on your computer, such as stealing data or damaging your system.

Cybercriminals can use malware to steal banking credentials and other sensitive information, such as personal details, credit card information, or even video and audio recordings. Malware can infect your system through email attachments, downloads, and other sources. Protect yourself by installing reputable antivirus software and keeping your operating system and other software up-to-date.

Card Skimming

Card skimming is a common technique criminals use to obtain credit and debit card information. They typically install a small, hidden device on ATMs (automated teller machines) or payment processing terminals to steal card information when they are swiped.

Skimming devices are designed to be nearly identical to the real thing, with only a slight difference in appearance. Always check the machine before inserting your card, and if you suspect anything suspicious, report it to your bank.

Social Engineering

Social engineering involves manipulating people into providing sensitive information, such as a bank account username or password. It can take many forms, including email scams and phone calls.

Fraudsters can trick people into giving away their security credentials by pretending to be legitimate banking representatives, such as customer service agents or bank managers. Always be wary of unsolicited phone calls or emails requesting sensitive information; do not provide it unless you know the sender’s legitimacy.

Distributed Denial of Service

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are another type of digital crime that significantly impacts the banking sector. DDoS attacks can overload servers that provide banking services, rendering them temporarily useless.

Cybercriminals often instigate these attacks to extract money from the bank or as a bargaining chip in ransom bouts. Banks must have cybersecurity protocols to withstand these attacks or risk damaging their reputation and leaving customers vulnerable to data breaches.


Lastly, fraud is a form of digital crime targeting the banking sector. Fraudsters will often use stolen credit cards or debit cards to make fraudulent purchases or take out loans.

Always watch your accounts and report any suspicious activity immediately. Moreover, if you’re a company using banking services, ensure that your chosen bank has the right software. A robust fraud detection software for banks can give you a couple of benefits. First, if fraud does happen, you can have a higher chance of catching it. Second, you can reduce the likelihood of fraud in the first place.

Preventive Tactics

Digital crimes targeting the banking sector can be prevented by implementing simple security measures. Here are some of them:


One of the most important preventive measures is implementing strong cybersecurity protocols. Banks must have secure systems to protect customer data and prevent unauthorized access. Training staff on cyber security best practices and regularly updating system software is also essential.


Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is another method that can help strengthen your bank’s cybersecurity. MFA requires users to provide two or more pieces of evidence before accessing accounts. This method can protect against theft, as it makes it much harder for fraudsters to gain access.


Lastly, always remain vigilant and be aware of the dangers posed by digital criminals. Ensure staff are educated on cyber security best practices and report any suspicious activity immediately.

Following the preventive measures outlined above can help protect your banking system and customers from digital crimes. With the right security protocols, you can keep your data safe and secure.

Isa Lillo


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