Bank customers warned against falling victims of social engineering fraud
Saudi Banks Media and Awareness Committee has warned bank customers of new fraud methods based on social engineering, where victims are exploited through psychological manipulation which leads eventually to the disclosure of confidential data resulting in incurring heavy financial losses.
Social engineering fraud is a broad term that refers to the scams used by criminals to exploit a person’s trust in order to obtain money directly or obtain confidential information to enable a subsequent crime.
The committee revealed that most social engineering fraud tricks used are based on fake links provided by fake accounts, claiming that they are official bodies or legal personalities to delude the victim that they are reliable parties. These fake accounts usually ask customers to share their bank information, the data of their credit cards and the like. The committee warned against falling victim to those fraudster accounts that fabricate stories to deceive many people. “So, for everyone with bank accounts stay cautious and do not provide anyone with verification codes that he receives via phone call or text message,” it said.
The committee clarified that social engineering fraud and its methods are based on a set of tricky techniques and misleading pretexts to make people reveal their banking information and share authentication codes; which eventually enables the fraudster (the attacking social engineer) to access the victim’s account, transfer money or exploit card information and withdraw money immediately after sharing information and authentication codes, while stressing that bank employees never ask for confidential information of customers in any case.
In a statement, the committee called on bank customers and community groups to be aware of the latest fraud methods and not to share their bank or card information and password with any party under any pretext. It has also warned bank customers to never respond to fake investment announcements or fake trading shares, and never visit random links sent claiming to update personal information. As a precautionary measure bank customers should ensure changing credit card passwords periodically, especially when returning from traveling abroad.
The committee also warned against being deceived by the presence of bank logos on fake websites and pages, and it has also stressed the importance of checking the reliability and credibility of electronic shopping sites, and that their information is secure. “Customers should ignore all text and electronic messages which claim to include a cash prize or any type of gift by deleting these messages immediately, and the customers must always refer back to official banking sites and applications only. Customers also should ensure that their personal information is updated through the official channels of the bank only,” the statement pointed out.
Accordingly, the committee is implementing several awareness campaigns to raise the customer’s attention about financial fraud and ways to avoid it. “Methods of Social Engineering Fraud” is one of the awareness campaigns that target children and adults using two different Arabic hashtags on Twitter translates to “Give them a hard time” and “Do not let them deceive you.” This is to make sure they do not fall victims for fraud that they might come across through digital gaming and fake phone calls from impersonators of official bodies or bank employees.
The campaigns also aimed at warning children and adults from being responsive to deceptive investment websites.
The committee also stressed the importance of following its accounts on all social media platforms to learn about new fraudulent methods, and making sure to report any fraudsters that the customers come across by sending a text message to 330330 along with the number of the fraudsters.