Bank notification SMS: How to know when it's a scam

Could those SMS bank notifications be false security?

The Ombudsman for Banking Services of SA released its 2020 annual report yesterday, revealing that fraud cases dominated the five top complaints categories: current accounts, internet banking, personal loans, credit cards and ATMs.
Current account cases increased by a dramatic 7% from 2019, with complaints relating to fraud, bank fees and charges and banks not giving notice of account closures account for 80% of current account complaints.
The report features 15 case studies and they make for very compelling reading indeed.
“These cases are more relatable and engaging than a list of statistics,” Steyn said. “It’s in the telling of the stories that we succeed in our consumer awareness efforts and in changing banking practices, from time to time.”
Several case studies had the same theme - the bank’s failure to tell their customer about a very real risk of fraud.
In one of them, a bank customer complained to her bank that she wasn’t receiving SMS notifications regarding credit card payments.
She was told there had been a technical issue, but that her SMS notification system was operating again. Cool, she thought, all sorted.
When fraudulent transactions totalling R200 000 went through on her account, without her being notified, the bank told her that because her account had been accessed via her banking app, no SMS notifications were sent to her. That’s because she had failed to register specifically for banking app notifications.
Can you believe it??
The OBS said it was a reasonable assumption that the notifications applied to all notifications on her account - it was unreasonable for the bank to expect customers to explicitly request notifications on their banking app.
And so it was that the bank accepted responsibility for that R200 000.
Pity the bank isn’t named, but the story serves as a strong warning to make sure that your bank sends you SMS notifications about all activity on your account no matter what