Scammers pose as bank employees

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-FNB Namibia has once again warned the public to be careful as an ‘old’ scam has resurfaced. This is the so-called ‘imposter scam’, where fraudsters pretend to be from FNB Namibia and manipulate customers by asking them to perform an action on their cellphone, which leads to loss of money through e-wallet payments.

Said Ingrid Kahona-Katjiukua, FNB Forensics: “This is not a new scam, but every now and then the fraudsters try this again because they know customers do fall prey to easy cash scams, especially in difficult financial times such as these.”

The scam works when a fraudster calls people at random and poses as a FNB employee enquiring about funds that need to be released for various reasons. These could include dividends, policy payouts, rewards for long standing customers or any other form of payout. The call, in most cases, is placed to a landline and the customer is then requested to enter a code on their cellphone for release of funds.

This code is normally the cellphone banking string; *140*392# or *140*321# followed by what the fraudster then names as a verification code but is in fact the amount the customer is about to transfer to the fraudster – e.g. 4994 ultimately sending N$4,994.00.

“We urge customers to remain vigilant at all times – calls such these are not from FNB Namibia. The bank will never call a customer or a member of the public to release funds for dividends, policy payouts or for any form of receiving or sending money. We also do not require any ‘codes’ from a customer to release funds. Keep in mind that we will also never ask you to go through any steps on your cellphone.”

Kahona-Katjiukua advised customers to be alert when receiving calls from their banks and to rather practice extra safety precautions. “Take the caller’s details and phone the bank through the switchboard number to confirm that this is not a scam”.

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