Never share bank details on phone

Citizens and residents in the Sultanate have been asked to exercise caution when sharing personal information, especially bank details, on phone. Despite the extensive campaigns carried out by the law enforcement agencies, complaints about electronic fraud continue to be reported. The latest issue of ‘Society and Law’ states that in one case, two Asian expats contacted a man by phone claiming they were working for a telecom company. They told him he had won a cash prize of RO 20,000 and asked for his personal details for verification.

The unsuspecting victim shared vital information, including his civil ID number and name of the bank. He was also asked to share account details for the transfer of prize money. Having obtained crucial information, the accused managed to divert RO 5,000 from his account. The victim was shocked to receive a message that said money had been withdrawn from his account. As he was unable to contact the accused, he realised he had been conned. He filed a complaint with the authorities and closed his bank account. During the investigations, it was found the accused had left Oman after having committed such crimes over a period.

Recently, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) arrested the expatriates for online fraud. ROP said the accused, posing as bank officials, told people their debit/credit cards will be blocked if they do not open the link in the email sent to them. The police urged people to ignore messages/calls seeking bank details. They urged caution over messages announcing cash prizes.

Vinod Nair