How to tell if it's really us contacting you

How to tell if it's really us contacting you

Imagine you're at home, minding your own business, when your phone rings. It's a scenario right out of a horror movie. You answer the call and find a bank representative on the other end. You think you're safe, but little do you know, the real terror is just beginning!

The bank representative tells you that there's an issue with your account. Like anyone else, your first reaction is to help solve the problem quickly. But things take a turn when the representative asks for personal and sensitive information, such as your account number. That's when you start to wonder: "Shouldn't my bank already have this information? Why are they asking me for it?".

Your doubts are justified! This call could have emptied your bank account. The person on the phone isn't an actual bank employee. They're a scammer trying to pretend to be the bank to gain your trust and get information to steal your money. Unfortunately, these scams can also come through texts and emails.

Once again, you wonder: "How can this person be a scammer? It all seemed so genuine." Scammers are often experienced at impersonating real bank employees. They may even know and use some of your personal information to establish trust during the call. But it's important to remember that just because they have your data doesn't mean you should trust them.

Did you know that scammers can also spoof a bank phone number?

Simply checking if the phone number calling you matches your bank's official number no longer guarantees the caller is a bank employee. Thanks to advancing technology, scammers can now make it seem like the bank's number or name is on your caller ID to make it look like the call is coming from your bank. Additionally, they can send text messages that appear in the same chat as real banking messages.

We know that all of these tactics make it harder than ever to avoid falling victim to scammers, which is why we've written this article!

What you will never hear from our employees

To help you spot suspicious calls and scams before they occur, we've compiled a list of things you will never hear from a bank employee over the phone, through texts, or emails. If someone claiming to be from your bank says any of these things, it's best to hang up or not reply to the message.

  1. "Please provide me with your personal details to update your account"

The caller might say they need your personal or banking details to update your account, but we will never ask you for the following over the phone:

  • Account number
  • Card number 
  • Home address
  • Email address 
  • National ID number
  • PIN or other passwords
  • CVV, which is the 3-digit number on the back of your card
  • Card's expiration date
  1. "Please share the OTP with me to protect your account from any suspicious financial activity"

A one-time password is used to confirm online purchases, and sharing it enables them to make unauthorised transactions using the funds in your account. Rest assured, your bank will never need this number for any procedure or ask you for it.

  1. "Your money is in danger, and you have to transfer it to a secure account to protect it from theft"

Scammers may try to scare you into thinking that your money is in danger and that you're falling victim to a scam, pressuring you to transfer your funds to a different account for protection. In such situations, hanging up the call is the safest action to protect your money because we will never ask you to move your money to another account.

  1. "Click the link that we've sent you and enter your information to activate your account"

No matter what they say, if someone asks you to fill in your details using a link, it's a scam aimed at getting your banking information and accessing your money. Be aware we will never ask you to do this, especially if the link isn't from our official bank website.

What should you do if you encounter any of the above?

If you receive a call or message of this type, we encourage you to:

  1. End the call right away or ignore the message entirely. Avoid sharing any information or clicking on any links.
  2. Reach out to our contact centre using the number here, and avoid calling back the number that contacted you, even if it appears to be from the bank. 
  3. Share your experience with your friends and acquaintances to help us raise awareness about scammers' tactics. The more people know about their ways, the harder it is for scammers to target new victims.
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