The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) called on all citizens and residents of the Sultanate to be careful and not to respond to the text and WhatsApp messages sent by people impersonating bank employees and not to open any attached links unless after complete confirmation.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the CBO affirmed that no personal or banking information should be disclosed over the phone or through social media, or to respond to requests to transfer funds to the accounts of companies or individuals, except after ensuring that those accounts belong to the right recipient in order to avoid scam. It is similarly important to follow the announcements and warnings issued by banks through the official means of communication.
The statement said that the CBO has noticed an increase in the number of scam attempts to which some citizens and residents in the Sultanate have fallen victims through the WhatsApp application and text messages sent by fraudsters purported to be employees of local banks.
The scammers deceive the clients that their bank cards have been blocked and that they should call the number provided in the message to update their bank data. When they are contacted, the fraudsters ask the clients to disclose some personal information such as the account number, debit card number, expiry date of the debit card and password, and other confidential data. The fraudsters then steal money from the victims’ accounts via e-shopping or other means.