Incidents detected by SIBS Paywatch, which indicate a fraud or attempted fraud, increased nine fold in 2021 and one in 99 'emails' is 'phishing', said the executive president of this financial services company.

“In 2021, the events detected by SIBS Paywatch increased nine times, which reveals a significant increase in fraud or attempted fraud, namely through fake websites, phishing, vishing or smishing”, said Madalena Cascais Tomé, at the conference "How to protect payments? (Cyber)Security and fraud prevention", organised by Banco de Portugal (BdP).

Madalena Cascais Tomé recalled that 'strong costumer authentication' has been a reality since 2021, which implies that in order to make a certain payment, a fingerprint, facial recognition or other biometric data or the receipt of codes by sms or email is required.

However, despite this strong form of authentication, users' digital footprint has also increased, which can compromise payment security.

“No sensitive data received by cell phone is shared, at any time, under any circumstances or to anyone,” she warned.

Low levels of fraud

Electronic payment instruments showed “very low” levels of fraud in the first half of 2021, with card operations standing out from the point of view of the issuing entity, with 0.03% in quantity and value, revealed the BdP.

“In the first half of 2021, the use of different electronic payment instruments in Portugal remained at very low levels of fraud”, reads the 2021 payment systems report.

In this period, operations with cards stand out from the issuer's point of view, with an increase of 0.03% in quantity and value.

However, the average value per fraud, which stood at 54 euros, was the lowest.

Credit transfers, in turn, had an average value of €2,647 per fraudulent transaction, “but only three out of every million transfers were fraudulent”.