Report of the Saudi Journal
RIYADH – Saudi Banks Media and Awareness Committee has warned bank clients of new socially engineered fraud methods, where victims are exploited through psychological manipulation which ultimately leads to the disclosure of confidential data with heavy consequences financial losses.
Social engineering fraud is a broad term it refers to scams used by criminals to exploit a person’s trust in order to obtain money directly or obtain confidential information to allow for a subsequent crime.
The committee revealed that most of the 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 into being trustworthy parties. These fake accounts usually ask customers to share their banking information, credit card information, and the like. The committee warned against falling victim to those scam accounts that fabricate stories to fool many people. “So for anyone who has bank accounts, stay cautious and don’t give anyone the verification codes they get by phone or text message,” he said.
The committee clarified that social engineering fraud and its methods rely on a number of complicated techniques and misleading pretexts to trick people into disclosing their banking information and sharing authentication codes; which ultimately allows the scammer (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, noting that bank employees never ask for information reserved for customers in any case.
In a statement, the committee called on banking customers and community groups to be aware of the latest fraud methods and not to share their bank or card information and password with anyone under any pretext. It also warned bank clients never to respond to fake investment ads or fake trading actions and never visit random links posted claiming to update personal information. As a precaution, bank customers should ensure that they change their credit card passwords periodically, especially upon returning from a trip abroad.
The committee also warned against being misled by the presence of bank logos on fake websites and pages, and also stressed the importance of verifying the trustworthiness and credibility of electronic shopping sites and that their information is secure. “Customers should ignore all text and electronic messages claiming to include a cash prize or any kind of gift by immediately deleting these messages and customers should always refer only to official banking sites and applications. Clients should also ensure that their personal information is only updated through the bank’s official channels, ”the statement stressed.
Consequently, the committee is implementing several awareness campaigns to increase the customerfocus on 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 which translates to “Give them a hard time” and “Don’t let them fool you”. This is to ensure that they do not fall victim to any fraud they might encounter through digital games and fake phone calls from imitators of official bodies or bank employees.
The campaigns also aimed to warn children and adults from being reactive to deceptive investment websites.
The committee also stressed the importance of following its accounts across all social media platforms to learn about new fraudulent methods and make sure to report any scammers customers come across by texting 330330 along with the number of scammers.