Tuesday, August 16, 2022 | Muharram 17, 1444 H
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Alert over ‘fake holograms’ scam

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Authorities have warned against a new scam, which uses the forged holograms of different government authorities and siphons off money from unsuspecting customers.

“This particular message being received by many banking customers is a scam and one should not fall prey to it,” a senior official at the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) told the Observer.

He said that con artists are coming out with new scams to dupe people.

“Banks are making awareness campaigns from time to time. However, these fraudsters are finding newer tricks to cheat people.” Though police, banks and security agencies in the Sultanate of Oman have intensified their efforts to warn customers against disclosing their personal information to callers, many people still fall victim to fraud.

The latest in the series, which uses the holograms of the CBO, ROP and banks, contain warnings that their debit/credit cards could be blocked if they don’t update their account details by providing card number and PIN. It says accounts will be blocked due to a security reason and if one doesn’t wish it to happen needs to call the number and complete the formalities immediately.

“One shouldn’t panic upon receiving such messages and do not respond to it.”

“Instead, block the number immediately and alert us. We will report it to our management to take action,” a senior banking official said.

“If a panicked customer responds to such a message by calling them back, he/she would be guided through various bank policies and packages in their language to win their trust and ask for their account number followed by an OTP (One Time Password). That’s the end of the game and an accomplice who’s waiting at the ATM will withdraw the money immediately,” he said.

Many customers have fallen prey to such unscrupulous messages and lost their money.

Usually, no executive from any bank will ever ask you for PIN, OTP, CVV, card number, account details or password over phone, SMS, WhatsApp or through a web link. If one gets a doubtful message, one should contact the customer care of banks to verify the message.

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