A local newspaper reports that dozens of local bank account holders have had their credit cards forged in the last two weeks by hackers. The banks informed the Cybercrime Investigation Department about the customers’ complaints and exposure to fraud, which were processed through e-mail and remote access through mobile applications. The fraudulent operations have become widespread, in which the aim is to steal bank data through phone calls and text messages.
The sources pointed out that all financial fraud operations registered with banks were sent in email addresses, claiming to come from the Ministry of Communications or the courier companies DHL and Aramex. The fraudulent message says that the recipient’s shipment has arrived, and that this must be processed by clicking on the notification link and paying a fee of 1.5 dinars, explaining that customers who coincidentally await the arrival of a shipment by express mail are more likely to fall victim to this fraud. Once the customer clicks on the bank account data, especially the information that comes by mail to accept payment, the real withdrawal process would begin, which may exceed the value of the specified fee a thousand times.
According to the report, the banks took technical steps to recover the withdrawn amounts. Based on the complaints, the amount withdrawn by hackers varied between a minimum of 300 dinars and a maximum of 1500 dinars. The banks of the victimized account holders are recovering about 80 percent of the amounts that were stolen, after coordinating with the Visa and MasterCard companies to stop the completion of payment operations as international rather than local payments.
Also, the report noted that if the fraud took place without the customer providing all of his account information, the bank would be able to recover the stolen money within 10 to 45 days. Nevertheless, it may be difficult for the bank to recover the stolen amounts or classify them as valid payment processes carried out at the full will of the customer when the verification code is sent for credit cards, commonly known as "OTP".
The banks warned customers to use caution when downloading suspicious apps and clicking on electronic links, warning that downloading these apps or clicking on these links exposes the customer's confidential banking information to theft. According to the source, banks are doing efforts to confront the rapid increase of phishing operations, and spending millions annually in order to fortify their systems through strong cyber security programs and systems to protect customers and electronic payment operations, while customers are required to protect their banking data and mobile devices.
The hackers use cunning tricks to gain access to customer data, such as promoting malicious applications that promise attractive profits and returns, or imitating apps of famous major companies to entice customers to divulge their banking data and passwords. DHL and Aramex have previously warned of attempts to defraud online shoppers through the unauthorized use of their names and trademarks in email communications and graphics that appear to come from them. In both traditional and electronic mail, the companies confirm that they will not ask for personal information or payment data.
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