Fraud banking worsens in Lesotho, bank warns customers

Fraud banking worsens in Lesotho, bank warns customers

First National Bank (FNB) is urging its customers in Lesotho to ensure that they keep their banking and personal information safe to avoid becoming victims of fraud banking that is on the rise in this mountainous kingdom of Southern Africa.

“Fraud has been an ongoing industry occurrence as fraudsters continually try new approaches to gain private information that will allow them access to customer accounts. Luckily customers have the ability to steer clear of fraud if they apply simple safety hints and tips,” FNB Lesotho CEO Emil Heppell said.

“As the popularity of mobile manking increases, customers need to make sure that they are aware of the safety measures that they need to take to ensure they do not compromise their personal banking details,”  Heppell added.

Cellphone and online banking is making banking easier and more cost effective but a recent increase in SMS and phone fraud means that fraudsters have new methods of defrauding customers, the bank said.

FNB Lesotho urges its customers to be aware of the following types of fraud that are currently affecting the public in this small land-locked country enclaved inside South Africa:

•    Competition entries
Fraudsters are targeting places, such as shopping centres and supermarkets, during times when competitions are run. Customers enter the competition, leaving their contact details and are later contacted by phone or SMS asking the customer to enter the competition via SMS.

How the fraud works:
A few days later the customer receives an SMS informing customer that they have won the competition A fraudster then calls asking for banking details so that they can deposit the money won.

Customers are then contacted and informed that the deposit has been made but the release of funds will incur a 1% insurance or tax cost. Customers are urged to approach their nearest FNB branch to report any suspicious activity or fraud.

Be on the watch for these other common methods and scams used by fraudsters:

•    Vishing:
Customers are called and tricked into divulging their information.  How it works: a random SMS stating that a bank official will contact you to update and make sure your details are right.

A fraudster then calls, claiming to be a bank official who then asks for personal and banking information. The latest Vishing trend includes fraudsters claiming to be police officers.

Instead of an SMS stating that the customers will be contacted by a bank official, customers are being threatened into providing their personal details or face being arrested.

•    Smishing:
Customers are tricked into exposing information via SMS.  How it works: a random SMS sent by a fraudster who is waiting for a response. An SMS suggesting that the customers’ details have been compromised and that the bank needs the personal information to stop the fraud.

•    Phising:
Customers are tricked into divulging their information via email. How it works: an e-mail message or pop-up window that includes officially-looking bank logos, and an e-mail that includes web links to a banking site. An e-mail posed as a security alert that request personal information.

An email that notifies of a payment or deposit into your account followed by a web link for payment verification the bank said it will never ask you customers for their  confidential information such as PIN, password or username.

Tips to protect against fraud
Never reply to the number that is provided in an SMS from a random person requesting personal bank information e.g. Pin information, password information.

Never talk to someone whom you think might be a fraudster. Never give out private information via E-mail, SMS or on a call.


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