Wed | Nov 29, 2023

Watch out for scammers as holidays approach

Published:Monday | November 20, 2023 | 12:07 AM
Dane Nicholson, head of fraud prevention at National Commercial Bank.
Dane Nicholson, head of fraud prevention at National Commercial Bank.

A senior fraud-prevention expert is sounding the warning to consumers ahead of the busy holiday period that they should be vigilant as scammers prepare to step up their activities to fleece unsuspecting persons of their hard-earned money.

Head of Fraud Prevention at the National Commercial Bank (NCB), Dane Nicholson, said the number-one problem financial institutions face now is online fraud, which takes the form of social engineering.

Nicholson told The Gleaner that as the Christmas season approaches, scammers have started to increase their activities through phishing or smishing.

He said phishing and smishing are ways of deceiving individuals into providing sensitive personal banking and other particulars by sending them an email or SMS and asking them to click on the link and submit the information requested.

“We are coming up to the Christmas season, the peak period for online fraud. You will definitely see an increase in phishing, smishing, ABM fraud, point-of-sale fraud, and switcheroo fraud,” Nicholson said.

In the case of switcheroo fraud, Nicholson said fraudsters normally target persons who are trying to purchase US dollars.

“Let’s say they are purchasing US$1,000, and they will give them it first, check it, and then the person will change his mind and walk away and come back and say ‘Let’s do it now’, but the actual bundle of cash they will get at the end of the transaction is totally different from it,” he explained.

Nicholson cautioned customers of banking institutions and other persons carrying out both online and other financial transactions over the holiday period to be extremely alert and take the necessary steps to avoid being defrauded.