Pradeep Rana, Group Chief Risk Officer, First Abu Dhabi Bank Image Credit: Supplied

At First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), we take great pride in protecting our customers against fraud, as we strive to put them first in all that we do. Fraud attempts continue to adapt as technology and digital capabilities evolve, and one of the latest trends that we are witnessing at the moment includes fraudsters using social engineering techniques to get victims to share their secured credentials and authentication codes, including One Time Passwords (OTPs).

Here’re some tips on how to protect yourself from such schemes:

● OTP scams: Fraudsters misuse victim accounts at all levels. They contact individuals impersonating bank representatives or employees from official entities, compelling them to share an OTP message that they received, in order to update their contact details. They sometimes go as far as threatening the victim that their account will get blocked if they do not cooperate. Victims are tricked into sharing their OTP, leading to unauthorised transactions.

● How to protect yourself: Ensure the caller introduces themselves along with their designation. Verify that the number they are calling you from is legitimate. Always check the purpose of receiving an OTP, as usually OTP messages include information on the amount and reason for receiving the notification. In any case, never share your OTP with anyone.

● Business Email Compromise scams: In this scenario, companies receive an email from a fraudster impersonating a supplier or counterparty requesting them to make an urgent payment to an updated IBAN or account. Based on such instructions, victims send the funds to the fraudster’s account (beneficiary).

● How to protect yourself: When receiving such emails from your counterparts, immediately contact them on their usual registered telephone number to verify the validity of the email and whether they have in fact updated their account details.

● Mule accounts: Fraudsters approach genuine account holders with business or employment offers, which require them to receive payments into their account. After being told that a sum is to be left for them, they are then directed to hand over large amounts of the transaction to fraudsters either in cash or through onward transfers.

● How to protect yourself: Never use your bank account for any unrelated third-party transaction. If someone approaches you with offers that are too good to be true, be wary. Do your research, and when in doubt, contact your relationship manager or bank.