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Citadele bank offers advice to beat online fraudsters

Latvian bank Citadele has put together a list of the most frequent recent scam approaches noted by the bank and reported by its customers.

"The key to success for scammers is people’s lack of knowledge and carelessness, as well as knowing how banks and other service providers operate to be able to adapt their schemes to realistic situations. However, it is almost always possible to see the signs which could help you to recognise scam attempts," says the bank.

Below is a summary of the different approaches currently circulating and some tips on how to stay secure.

Job offers
Pretending to be a bank employee, scammers call and offer a job at a bank, asking for certain actions to be completed. For example, they ask you to give your online banking details, open an account, make a transfer to supposedly activate an account, load a file which copies the client’s personal information, etc.

Claims about your money being at risk
Pretending to be the employee of a bank or other organisation, scammers claim that your money is at risk and must be transferred to another account as soon as possible. Scammers may also ask for your banking access under the pretense of saving your money from a fictitious transaction. The story is not true, and the aim is to have your money transferred to a scammer’s account.

False website addresses
Scammers create a duplicate of an online banking page which they enter into google search results. The fake address may have one different letter or symbol. When you enter your information into the fake website, scammers gain access to the client’s money.

Emails pretending to be from other people
Pretending to be various, usually well-known representatives of the organisation, scammers send emails asking people to open links which request your personal information to gain your banking details.

Data security check
Notifications alleging to be from the bank ask to check information for safety reasons by opening links or attachments. The link forwards to a false address which helps scammers steal the information entered by the client.

Offers for cheap services
The scammer offers particularly good-value terms on services, for example, loans, first asking for payment card or bank information, pretending to check the client’s suitability or apply for a service.

Offers for earning money
Pretending to be brokers or bank employees, scammers ask you to download an app or transfer money for a great investment. The promised investment and its profit goes to the scammer.

Help for those in difficulties
These are most often moving, dramatized stories and requests from people who need financial support to encourage you to transfer money and give a helping hand.

Fictitious invoices for non-existent services
By sending an invoice for non-existent services, scammers try to make you pay. The invoice may be for a popular service and with a familiar logo or very similar name, but with the scammer’s account number.

Competition prizes
Scammers have started to use social media competitions, calling or writing to inform somebody of having won, but asking them to verify their identity by giving their personal information.

Citadele’s Head of IT Technology Security, Kaspars Briška offers the following tips to keep your account and credit cards secure:

Do not give out personal information
Never, whether over the phone or online, comply with requests to give information on bank access, passwords and codes, and do not enter this information into internet links sent to you. Remember that nobody ever needs to know your bank information, even bank employees.

Carefully check your sources
Always check whether the contact information is correct. To contact the bank, use official sources and publicly available phone numbers. Don’t rely on the phone number of the caller, and never call them back.

Do not rush or respond to urgent action
If you are not sure how to act, spend some time thinking calmly and unhurriedly. Remember, check everything. Neither banks nor other real organisations will hurry you to immediate action.

Do not respond to requests to transfer money
If you are asked to transfer money or do any other operations with your money in response to security measures, such as to check your identity or complete a suspicious transaction that needs checking by the bank, remember that neither banks nor law enforcement agencies will ever ask you to transfer or borrow money, for example, to activate an account or as an advance loan payment.

Do not open links and attachments from unknown email addresses
First, carefully check the email address and sender to see if they are known and real, as scammers often create similar email addresses. You should also never comply with requests to install a programme. Never enter your banking information into link which have been sent to you or programmes which you have been asked to download.

Avoid paying by transfer
When you shop online with an unknown service provider, choose to pay with integrated and secure payment methods, such as your online bank, bank card, Klix or PayPal.

Always be alert
Read everything you are sent about data security and new scamming methods. If you have any doubts or suspicions, always contact the service provider and your bank.

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