Local banks have cautioned customers against fraudsters who offer them prizes, including tickets for sports events in the country.
The most frequently used methods by cyber criminals to lure people are email, SMS or WhatsApp messages.
Industry sources said congratulatory messages are often sent to customers, offering them free match tickets or mobile phones. To claim prizes, customers are asked to disclose their personal information.
Phishing is a way to extract confidential information from account holders in banks or financial institutions using illegal methods.
Recently, a resident received a message claiming he has won a latest 5G mobile phone in a draw by a major merchant outlet in the country. He was also asked to send his details to a WhatsApp number provided.
Many residents have received such fake messages, it is learnt.
Banks have urged customers to check and ensure that email or SMS is from a legitimate source, as scammers tend to use links to collect their data or card payment information.
Before making use of the one-time password (OTP), customers must ensure that the details match that of the merchant from whom the product or service has been purchased or sought.
Banks have urged customers to be careful with those who pretend to help them if their card gets captured in an ATM.
“Any suspicious activity may be reported to the banks immediately,” a source said.
Banks have also asked customers not to hand over their card or disclose their PIN to another person under any circumstance.
A telecom service provider recently alerted customers not to share their OTP, PIN or card details to anyone, even if they say they represent the company concerned.
“We will not ever ask you for any sensitive information of that nature,” the telco noted.
The company has also urged targeted customers to contact its fraud control unit if they receive such requests.
Industry sources said nationals and residents must be careful about cyber criminals as the country is set to host the world’s most important sporting event – FIFA World Cup 2022 – within a month.
“Obviously, there will be heightened business activity associated with any major global event. The country will host thousands of fans and visitors from around the world. Cyber criminals will try to exploit the situation. This happens everywhere in the world,” the source said.
“Identity theft is a common form of cybercrime. A cybercriminal will find a way, often through phishing, spam emails, website or even an online pop-up survey to get access to your credit card or banking account information and may use that information to make purchases in your name,” the source added.
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