Bank Muscat continues anti-fraud campaign to raise public awareness

Business Tuesday 09/March/2021 18:55 PM
By: Times News Service
Bank Muscat continues anti-fraud campaign to raise public awareness
Supplied picture

Muscat: In line with its commitment to social responsibility, Bank Muscat, the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate, is continuing its anti-fraud campaign to raise awareness amongst the general public against instances of electronic fraud.

With digital payments building momentum over the past, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19, fraudsters from across the globe have increased efforts to defraud the general public. Continuing its yearlong activities from last year, the bank has released its latest anti-fraud educational video in 2021 to help its customers and the general public easily recognises fraudulent practices.

This campaign advises people to always verify who it is they are dealing with before conducting a transaction and also follow ‘best practices’ for their digital safety. The bank’s special educational campaign is being carried out using various methods including Oman TV, radio, print and online media, and various social media channels.

The message provides examples of how fraudsters are perpetrating fraud and its consequences of blindly trusting people, especially when making purchases through the Internet without being sure of the seller’s credentials. The bank has reminded the public that they can contact the Royal Oman Police at 800777444 for advice and queries regarding electronic fraud.

Bank Muscat has also reminded its customers that times of global emergencies are almost always exploited by fraudsters. It has requested all customers as well as the general public to stay alert at all times and follow safe banking practices including not divulging their banking details to others. In particular, customers have been advised to double-check and verify the account details for fund transfers using alternative means of communication like telephone calls before initiating a fund transfer or payment.

The bank pointed out that legacy communication channels like email need not be secure as fraudsters can use their technical know-how to hijack emails between a customer and a legitimate business. In such instances, they replace the details mentioned for fund transfers with those of the fraudster such that funds are transferred to the wrong account.
The bank also pointed out that fraudsters may also pose as bank officials and pressurize victims to share OTPs, CVV numbers, passwords and PINs of bank accounts and credit/debit cards. Once these details are shared, the victim’s bank account may be accessed by the fraudster and funds transferred out of the account. The bank has reminded all its customers that it never asks for any of these details and that these should never be shared with anyone, including those claiming to be a bank employee or an official.

Cases of electronic fraud have been increasing globally over the past few years and often cause tremendous financial and psychological harm to both individuals and businesses alike. Bank Muscat has been collaborating on a regular basis with a number of institutions and authorities including the Royal Oman Police and the Information Technology Authority in the past to combat electronic fraud. It has been part of a number of anti-fraud awareness campaigns over the years. The bank will continue to post educational videos and messages on its social media channels to help everybody remain vigilant and fight fraud.