The number of frauds in the payment system has increased significantly. While the Czech National Bank (ČNB) did not receive any complaints in 2021, in the past six months it was contacted by hundreds of people from whom fraudsters tried to lure money. Therefore, the institution presented a new educational website, Money on the Run, on which it draws attention to fraudulent practices and advises how to defend against fraudsters.
Every day, the CNB receives five to ten phone calls on the green line from scammers asking what to do after they have become victims of an attack. The damage caused by the attackers can be in the millions of crowns when the fraudsters accept a loan on behalf of their victim and then transfer the money to their own account.
“The digitization of financial services brings not only benefits to bank clients, such as simplifying and speeding up money transfers, but also risks,” said CNB Deputy Governor Jan Frait at the presentation of the new website. He warned that as financial services speed up, the time it takes for scammers to lose money is shortening. People should therefore be more cautious than before, especially when dealing with unsolicited phone calls or e-mails.
Frait pointed out that victims of attacks are not only people from vulnerable population groups, but also entrepreneurs, municipalities or non-profit organizations. “Fraudsters are professionalizing their attack scenarios and the way they can use manipulative techniques,” he said. According to him, the CNB has repeatedly recorded cases where fraudsters impersonated bank board members.
According to Frait, attackers most often try to get their victim to authorize the payment themselves in their mobile banking. They often try to manipulate people and make them believe that they are confirming an incoming payment to their account, but in reality they are sending money to the fraudster. Another technique is to lure access data so that the fraudsters can handle the victim’s account themselves.
On the Money on the Run website, the CNB warns that fraudsters try to gain people’s trust or create fear in them so that they can manipulate them into releasing their data, and then the turn is for money. The Central Bank therefore appeals to people to take their time when dealing with money, always verify information and protect their data and sensitive information.
If someone becomes a victim of fraudsters, they should contact their bank as soon as possible and block their means of payment. At the same time, he should inform the police.
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