UAE: Bank reveals top scam, launches free app to protect residents from cybercrimes

New free fraud and cyber awareness app will provide real-time warnings about emerging scams



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by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Sun 9 Oct 2022, 9:58 AM

Last updated: Sun 9 Oct 2022, 8:53 PM

A new free anti-fraud and cyber app will create awareness among the UAE and regional residents against cyberattacks and how to protect themselves.

Launched by global bank HSBC, the app provides real-time warnings about emerging scams worldwide and can be downloaded from the Google Play and Apple App stores in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Turkey, and the UAE.

Collin Lobo, chief compliance officer and head of financial crime compliance, Menat, HSBC, said that the app is freely available so that everyone can benefit from the bank’s extensive expertise in cyber security and fraud prevention.

“(We’re) Helping to educate people on how to safeguard their data can help them to stay one step ahead of the scammers.”

According to HSBC, some of the most common scams are posing as representatives of legitimate organisations and persuading people to share account details, passwords and security codes during phone calls; using fake SMS and WhatsApp messages that encourage people to share their account details to receive payments, or to send money to scam accounts; and using online offers from fake websites that encourage users to click links that give cybercriminals direct access to bank account details.

“Using this app will help raise awareness of the importance of cybersecurity and how the scams used by fraudsters evolve. The best defence against cybercrime is to understand how scams work and how they can be prevented,” said Bipin Mehta, Regional Head of Cybersecurity, Menat, HSBC.

Meanwhile, the UAE banks also issue advisories for their customers time and again to remind them about protecting their accounts. Shared by the UAE’s largest bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, below are some of the key steps and measures that residents should take to protect their accounts.

  • Don’t respond to strangers online or on the call asking you to share OTP
  • Don’t click on pop-up banners claiming your computer is infected
  • Don’t allow callers who sound friendly to get your personal information by gaining your trust
  • Don’t act upon emails or messages that create urgency to initiate an action
  • Think before sharing personal information with a stranger if it’s safe
  • Limit the information you share on any social/digital platform
  • Create strong and complex passwords and change them frequently
  • Only download or install apps from the app store/google play store
  • Notice if a caller ID appears on the call especially when it is someone claiming to be from a bank or a government entity
  • Always check your account information regularly including balance and transactions and report any discrepancy immediately
  • Always ensure that you use ‘https://’ websites before banking or conducting financial transactions

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