Bank launches nationwide vishing awareness campaign

Fighting vishing attacks

13 September 2019 | Banking


The current rise of vishing attacks reported to Bank Windhoek where fraudsters speak to customers and convince them that they are speaking to someone from the bank, compelled the bank to enhance fraud procedures for all its electronic channels.

The campaign, which was launched earlier this week is aimed at informing both staff and customers on the process that fraudsters follow to obtain confidential data to use for illicit personal gain.

“The initiative supports the Bank’s values of educating staff and customers, on internet fraud and other financial crimes. A social media campaign will further support the campaign,” said Bank Windhoek’s Public Relations Manager, André le Roux.

All Bank Windhoek Branches and Departments countrywide have received posters highlighting how vishing telephone fraud works. The posters are prominently displayed to raise the awareness to staff and customers and to inform them of red flags when receiving calls of this nature and how to report it.

Vishing is a form of phishing, where fraudsters engage directly with victims with a phone call.

“It is the act of fraudsters engaging victims in a friendly and helpful telephonic conversation, claiming to be from your bank, and offering assistance with a mobile app upgrade, or security enhancement. These calls will also have a sense of urgency attached to them, for example, the fraudster will tell you that your account might be compromised if you do not upgrade immediately,” explained Capricorn Group’s information security specialist, Riaan Viljoen.

Vishing fraudsters will pretend to know staff or inside information from a bank. This is how victims are coaxed into trusting the authority and mandate of the caller. Victims are requested to enter information on the mobile app, to share or forward information or to respond to a text message.

“Never obey instructions from a random phone call. Do not share the One Time Pin (OTP) you receive via SMS in such a conversation with the caller. These PINs are triggered only when a transaction is taking place on your account. If you did not initiate a transaction, do not help to complete it,” advised Viljoen.

Bank Windhoek’s head of risk management, André Smit added that the institution has put intensive measures in place to combat financial crime.

“We have noted that fraudsters are coming up with new and sophisticated ways to defraud unsuspecting customers. To combat this reality proactively, we will continue to invest in the security of all our channels by having multiple layers of safety to ensure that customers enjoy the convenience of electronic banking, and trust that their hard-earned money is safe.”

Bank Windhoek’s vishing awareness campaign, which will run for the rest of the year, encourages staff members and customers to be vigilant and to immediately report any suspicious phone calls and activities by contacting the Bank’s Customer Contact Centre at Tel: (061) 299 1200.

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