Authorities warn against fraudulent scams


10-October-2012

The authorities are advising the public to remain vigilant of suspicious persons or correspondences so as not to fall victim to these scams.

One such scam is online fraud (phishing) whereby fraudsters create fake bank websites in an attempt to obtain people’s personal and bank account details. The fraudster poses as a commercial bank and invites the bank’s clients through either e-mail messages or phone calls to visit the fake bank website. The fraudster typically lures unsuspecting members of the public into providing personal and bank login details through the fake website, which is then used to defraud the victims.

The authorities have also received information on another scam targeting mainly local business/importers. In this particular case, importers are contacted through e-mails by fraudsters posing as overseas suppliers. The fraudsters then trick the importers to make payments to their overseas bank account number for which chances of recovering the funds are minimal.

This is in view that such accounts are closed as soon as the funds are received. This fraud has been mainly encountered where direct advance payment for goods is involved.

“Great care needs to be taken where Seychellois source suppliers of goods through the internet.

This is fraught with danger and many people are tricked into paying in advance for goods they will never receive. The person seeking to purchase supplies from abroad believe they have a good commercial deal but they end up losing a lot of money. Only purchase from a trusted source. Try to use a Letter of Guarantee system thus protecting your funds and the payment to the suppliers,” advises a communiqué from the CBS.

“When using e-mail addresses to conduct financial business, always double check that the address is the same one you used previously. In many instances fraudsters alter one letter in an e-mail address thus intercepting intended payments,” adds the communiqué. 
 
Members of the public are being advised to refrain from divulging any personal banking details to suspicious parties and also to take necessary precautions when dealing with e-mails or even phone calls in relation to payment of money.

“If you receive such an e-mail you are advised to notify your bank, not to respond or click on any of the links as it is a scam,” says the communiqué.

Any one who has been affected by one of these scams, or has been contacted by suspicious persons, are urged to write and inform the FIU, c/o Central Bank, P.O Box 701, Victoria and provide them with all known details. The FIU can also be contacted directly on telephone number 428 20 00.

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