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Kuwait Banking Association warns against scams

August 5th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

KUWAIT, Aug 4 (KUNA) — In the past few years, people around the world have been receiving fraud letters and messages on mobile phones, claiming that the recipient has won a grand prize or large sum of money which they can collect after making a phone call or logging on to an internet website.

Often, the recipient is told that his or her phone number of e-mail was entered into a random draw, and that they are the lucky ones among millions others – which cannot be logical in any sense. Responses to such letters differ from one individual to the other; some know these are merely false claims, while others may be naive and fall into the trap.

Such letters are sent by organized crime groups whose members are expert at dealing with and convincing people. Some are easier manipulated than others, especially after the severe impact of the international economic crisis on families and their status of living.

Therefore, Kuwait Banking Association (KBA) has arranged special campaigns to warn people of such fraud letters and of the different approaches that crime groups use in order to protect them against bankruptcy. KBA is trying to fight electronic fraud, which is considered among the most complicated and speedy criminal means due to its reliance on the internet and electronic banking.

Fraudsters send international fraud letters through e-mails to bank clients in order to get their banking information using forms similar to those of banks. Among the forms of scams are letters sent by anonymous parties asking people to help them release their money by providing their account numbers and other personal information so that a money transfer can take place, promising them a percentage of the money.

Hacking e-mails or the sites of companies or banks is considered another type of electronic fraud. Some fraudsters make phone calls to bank clients under the pretext that they are bank employees, asking them to provide them with their banking information for an update. Others may call as if to promote tourist or hotel services and ask for the credit card number to pay for a membership.

Analysts consider such fraud as a major and complicated problem because its exercised, whether through the internet or outside the country’s geographic borders, making it hard for security authorities to detect.

KBA and banks in general are keen to warn their clients of such scams through sending them text messages or letters. Zain telecommunication company has also warned its clients of such international fraud letters and phone calls in press releases.

KBA and telecommunication companies advised their clients to fully ignore such letters and phone calls, and not to provide third parties with banking or any personal information. Clients are advised to double check websites before any banking transaction is made. They are also advised not to display their secret codes in front of others in public places. People are advised to protect their computers using anti-virus soft wares.

By Ahmad Faraj

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