Do not fall prey to fraudulent calls, SMS asking for account details: CBO

June 10, 2019

With new methods of financial frauds coming to light around the world, the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) has once again cautioned citizens, residents and businesses in the sultanate to be aware of fraudulent phone calls and text messages seeking personal bank account and debit/credit card information.

Despite the warnings issued by various entities in the sultanate, whether governmental or private, and several educational campaigns carried out by them, instances of financial crimes are apparently continuing, according to H E Tahir bin Salim bin Abdullah al Amri, executive president of the CBO. “This can be partly attributed to the technological development and information boom that is being witnessed across the globe,” he said in a foreword in this year’s first issue of CBO’s banking and economic publication Al Markazi.

In addition to continuing with efforts to educate customers about the issue, H E Amri said it is also essential to understand the significance of safeguarding their confidential data without disclosing it to anyone, be it through phone calls, text messages or through social networking sites.

“We call upon all citizens and residents to take appropriate care and caution in this regard so that they do not fall prey to any phishing attempts. By being wary of the fictitious calls, tempting text messages or any other method of extortion deployed by the fraudsters, people can ensure safety of their confidential data,” he said.

Earlier this year, the ROP had asked people to ignore calls and messages claiming to be from telecom companies or banks announcing cash prizes. ‘Such calls should be ignored. Do not reveal your bank account details, ATM PIN and any other personal information’, the ROP said in its message.

According to H E Amri, the CBO always seeks to provide a safe and secure banking environment in the country. “The central bank ensures the sanitisation of the environment by issuing timely circulars, laws and legislations to banks and exchange companies operating in the sultanate. This exercise is aimed at taking all security and preventive measures to protect customer data and ensure that all sort of information is kept secured and is safeguarded from the risks of any intrusion or attack.”

In light of the growing need for electronic banking services, it is necessary to be informed about the dangers of electronic fraud,

H E Amri said, adding that fraud crimes are among the most serious crimes suffered by the world economies today.

“The government of the sultanate is in the process of e-transformation. Over the past period, the banking sector has worked tirelessly to keep pace with the technological developments, and accordingly has deployed the same to create a safe, secure and efficient banking environment in the country,” H E Amri added.