Friday 20 September, 2019

NCB warns customers about online fraudsters

The National Commercial bank (NCB) is advising that unscrupulous persons have been attempting to defraud its customers with a “cleverly disguised phishing email message.”

According to the NCB, the attempt by the fraudsters followed its announcement last Friday of a major upgrade of its banking platform which is scheduled to get underway on May 17 and which will last for an estimated six weeks.

NCB in a statement Thursday, said the fraudsters have employed a copycat strategy. It said the phishing message, which is sent from info@ncb.com with the subject line ‘NCB Upgrade: Urgent Attention Required’, tailgates on NCB’s efforts to advise customers of its scheduled upgrade activity.

“The email includes a link to a bogus website. Unsuspecting customers who click on the link are then asked to submit their private banking details under the guise of updating their information to avoid service disruptions. This type of email, commonly known as phishing, is one of the most common forms of email fraud globally,” said NCB in a statement quoting its Fraud Prevention manager, Lloyd Parchment.

“We are aware of the circulation of fraudulent emails relating to our planned upgrade, and we’ve made every effort to advise our customers of what to do in situations like these. However, criminals have become extremely sophisticated, and many times, it is difficult to spot a fake email because of how authentic it appears,” Parchment added.

The fraud expert noted, however, that there are some red flags that customers can use to identify a fraudulent email.

He explained that while the link in the email is similar to NCB’s official website, it directs persons to a fraudulent website when they click on it. To prevent this, the customer can hover over the link with his/her cursor, to see the actual website to which it is linked.

Parchment is also advising persons to delete any email requesting that they click on a link and enter confidential information. He also cautioned that even if persons do not enter their information on these fraudulent sites, malware could still be downloaded onto their device if they click on the link, giving hackers access to personal information. Persons should also look out for spelling or grammatical errors, and beware of threats that something bad will happen if you do not click on the link.

He reminded that NCB will never send an email asking persons to click on a link or to send their personal information anywhere. Persons who are uncertain are being asked to call the NCB’s Customer Care team for clarification.

Meanwhile, Parchment disclosed that since October 2018, NCB’s Fraud Prevention Unit has reported an aggressive increase in the number of phishing attacks on customers, with a growth rate of 96 per cent in just six months.

 

As a result, he is urging persons to be more protective of their email addresses and other personal data.

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