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  • Security tips from the bank 
  • Be aware of magic pen and other banking frauds
  • This modus-operandi by fraudsters is getting popular and recurrent
  • What you should do if you are approached by a representative of a bank selling a credit card or personal loan

 

Do you believe in magic? Have you been tricked by magicians? Believe it or not, scammers can be magicians as well, using the “magic pen”. So be alert and be careful as they can rob you of your money.

As this modus-operandi by fraudsters is getting popular and recurrent, RAKBANK has issued a warning to all its customers to be aware of the “Magic Pen” (pen with erasable ink) method used by scammers. It is for the safety and security of its account holders in the UAE. It appears this strategy is getting used again by fraudsters to steal money from your account. So it’s a welcome preventive measure by the bank to its account holders to safeguard their accounts from such fraudsters.

Mr K.S. Ram - RAKBANK’s Chief Risk Officer, told Gulf News: “Security and compliance are part of RAKBANK’s framework and core values, and this is achieved through constant communication with our customers, reminding them about the threats that can happen in the UAE and across the globe. In our effort to provide our customers with an environment of safe and secure banking, we simply wanted to inform them that the ‘Magic Pen’ method is still being used in fraud attempts by scammers.”

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How does it works?

Ram explained: “Basically, the Magic Pen is used by fraudsters, posing as a bank representatives to dupe customers. Typically, these fraudsters approach unsuspecting customers as sales representatives of banks selling credit cards and loan products. Once the sales pitch is successful, they ask customers to complete the loan/credit card applications and provide a blank signed security cheque wherein the imposter fills up the details on the cheque in their presence using their own pen. Subsequently, the details of beneficiary and amount in the cheque are altered since it was filled up with the magic pen, which allows the details entered to be erased without a trace. The cheque is then cashed from various banks using third parties.

“These fraudsters armed with a magic pen and the gift of gab could appear in the form of bank sales agents, insurance representatives, bill collectors, real estate agents or any type of direct marketing executives who collect payments in cheques.

“We, at RAKBANK, send out communication on a regular basis to our customers, providing them with security tips and information that aim to protect them and safeguard their banking relationships.”

How to avoid this fraud?

RAKBANK portal issued some guidelines on what you should do if you are approached by a representative of a bank selling a Credit Card or Personal Loan:

• Please ask the representative to identify himself and check his photo ID card issued by the bank.

• Do not hand a blank security cheque. Please fill in all details in the cheque including name of the beneficiary (which should be the bank’s name) and amount with your own pen.

• Do not use the pens provided by the other party to fill in details of the cheque or loan / card documents.

• If in doubt contact the concerned bank on their land line and confirm that the representative indeed works for the bank he claims to represent.

In addition, the Bank will never ask you to share your banking credentials or log in to an email link to claim a prize, refund or update your account details to avoid closure. Please do not respond with such information to any email, SMS or WhatsApp message claiming to be from the bank.

You’ve been warned! Don’t be duped, magic pen is real. So sign off with your own pen.

Read more on the dangers of 'magic pen'