by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Customers informed via social media to refrain from divulging personal banking information
- Advisory issued, warning clients against giving out banking information
Many people have recently complained of receiving messages and calls supposedly from authentic banking or financial institutions asking for personal banking information.
Grenada Co-operative Bank Managing Director, Richard Duncan said the bank is fully aware of these illegal activities. Customers of the bank who have received calls and emails, have alerted the bank of the suspicious activity.
Duncan said the bank was on alert after these issues occurred in Antigua and has taken proactive steps to inform their customers via social media to refrain from divulging personal banking information. “These fraudsters move throughout the OECS. We were aware that they were operating from Antigua for a while, so we were more or less prepared psychologically for something like that. When they come through the region for ATM skimming, they hit two and three islands at the same time, but I think increasingly people are now aware.”
Alerts have been issued from CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank in Barbados last month.
“[When] you go to an ATM, you look to see anything suspicious before you put in your card. People have not been giving their information in a large scale way on the internet and most people will call and say, hey I see this thing not looking right,” said Duncan.
Duncan indicated that the bank has issued an advisory on its website, warning its clients against giving out banking information. He said it would never telephone or send email or text messages requesting them to update or provide personal and account information, including user ID, password or account numbers.
“Do not disclose your pins, password, Mobile ID via email to people you do not know. Banks, credit unions, insurance companies do not ask for this information on the internet. They already have it and if they want it, they will contact you and ask you to come in or have a discussion on the phone where you can actually confirm that you are speaking to authorised personnel.”
Phishing is a common online scam designed to trick clients into disclosing personal or financial information for the purpose of financial fraud or identity theft. People can receive an unsolicited email appearing to be from a legitimate financial institution. A typical phishing email will give you a phony reason, such as a security breach or contest, to trick you into providing your personal information. The fake websites will appear authentic by copying the brand name and logo of the real company.