By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK LOCAL banks have warned customers against a popular scam similar to the deposit slip scam targeting the banking and retail sectors. T In a statement, Standard Bank advised service providers within the medical industry, security firms, and tourism and hardware industries to take extra caution when transferring funds out of merchant accounts. Standard Bank's marketing department could not divulge specific numbers and accounts targeted by perpetrators indicating that this is a general industry problem. The modus operandi used by the scammers according to the bank is that a cheque is normally deposited in an account of any bank and the beneficiary is then contacted and advised that there has been an erroneous deposit. As proof of deposit, an altered deposit slip is faxed to the recipient indicating that cash has been deposited instead of a cheque. The recipient is then requested to make an internet banking transfer in refund to an account controlled by the perpetrator. This, according to the statement, "results in the deposited cheque being returned as unpaid with reason 'Fraudulent/Altered cheque' and the amount is debited to the recipient's account". As such, the bank warns both individuals and businesses not to release goods or refund any so-called overpayments until the bank has confirmed the funds through a genuine deposit prior to effecting any refund. The bank warns that perpetrators are likely to investigate or try out different variations of the scam. Considering that technology comes with risks, just last month, Standard Bank had to introduce a one-time password following the attempted phishing attack in November. Phishing attack involved clients getting unsolicited messages usually via e-mail showing that it's the bank requesting account numbers and passwords. Through that, the scammers would defraud the system and in the process get the money. The introduction of this password acts as a security feature for about 42 000 customers who bank online. The bank appeals to the public to continue playing their part in securing their money by protecting the secrecy of their pin codes and passwords. Bank users are reminded that banks never ask for passwords from its clients. "As a bank, we will continue to raise the security bar in a proactive manner in the interests of our customers."
New Era Reporter
2005-12-09 00:00:00 13 years ago