Saudi banks warn expats about increased phishing scams

Published:  16 Jul at 6 PM
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Saudi banks are warning nationals and expatriates over an increase in phishing emails.

According to Saudi banks, online fraudsters are now finding new ways to get customers’ bank details using fraudulent emails purporting to come from the banks themselves as well as from other official sources. Expat and local customers are now being advised not to update their bank accounts as requested by the crooks. The fraudulent emails come in several formats, purporting to be from either systems maintenance or public or official persons and may request donations or funds to be sent to good causes.

The fraudulent emails use bank logos and seek customers’ personal information, with the Kingdom’s banking service organisation warning citizens and expatriates not to reply. The warning isn’t the first to be sent out by the banking organisation, but these emails are able to deceive a higher number of victims. Saudi banks themselves have no way of tracking down the fraudsters, but have issued the number 330330 to be used by victims when reporting the receipt of suspicious emails.

At the present time there are no statistics telling how many bank clients have been affected by the scam as many simply don’t report the phishing messages. At the same time, Saudi Telecom Co and several other providers are also warning their customers not to respond to similar messages or give any personal details to callers as they may be impersonating genuine staff. Those found guilty of fraud will face fines of up to SR two million, the equivalent of $530,000, or a prison sentence of up to three years.
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