Scammers pass themselves off as banks: beware of fraud!


INSIGHT
Published
Jul 27th '22
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Fraudsters continue to usurp the identity of major banks in order to catch consumers off guard. The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has already issued a warning against this phenomenon twice in 2021, but has noticed that this type of fraud is still taking victims today.

 

The principle always remains the same: victims are contacted by telephone or by email without having taken any prior initiative themselves or after having entered their contact details on an online form. Such forms are frequently offered to consumers on social media, via advertisements or sponsored publications.

 

The fraudsters then offer consumers savings plans with the promise of returns in excess of market returns and most often with a capital guarantee. But in the end, the result remains the same: the victims find themselves unable to recover their money.

 

The FSMA recently observed that fraudsters usurped the names of several banks to deceive consumers. The FSMA has received reports about scammers using the following names:

 

  • NatWest, using email addresses ending with ‘@nw-secure.info’;
  • ING-Diba, using email addresses ending with ‘@ingdiba-france.com’;
  • TSB Bank, using email addresses ending with ‘@tsbonline-contact.com’;
  • Ulster Bank, using email addresses ending with ‘@ulster-private.com’, and a website ‘https://monespace-secu.com/portefeuille.php’;
  • Banca March.

 

Fraudsters might also usurp the names of other financial institutions.

 

For more information on how these fraudulent schemes work, you are invited to consult the FSMA’s warnings of 29 January 2021 and 8 April 2021.

 

The fraudsters may also use this technique to offer other banking services, and in particular offers of credit. In the latter case, the scam is based on the payment of fees that are supposedly necessary to obtain credit. The FSMA refers to its warnings against “fake credit” fraud.

 

How to avoid this trap?

The FSMA also encourages you to see the recommendations it made in its previous warning on the subject.

 

In particular, the FSMA urges you to look very carefully at the email addresses or contact details of the companies who are contacting you.

 

If you have the least doubt, please feel free to contact the FSMA directly using the consumer contact form. As well, feel free to notify the FSMA should you come across a suspicious company that has not yet been the subject of a warning by the FSMA.

 

What to do if you have been the victim of fraud?

If you think you have been the victim of fraud, make sure you do not pay any additional sums to your contact person. Please note, this is also and especially true if you are promised a refund in exchange for a final payment, as this is a technique frequently used by fraudsters in order to obtain additional funds.

 

Also, contact the local police immediately to make a complaint and alert the FSMA to the scam via the consumer contact form.

 

The FSMA stresses the importance of filing a complaint quickly and with ample documentation (the company in question, bank accounts to which you transferred money, etc.).

 

Source: FSMA

 

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