Be careful, criminals are posing as your bank advisor to get money from you

Under the guise of suspicious transactions on your account, criminals encourage you over the phone to validate a transaction in their favor.

For several months, new measures have imposed strong authentication to carry out any online transaction. The French must now validate their purchases through secure devices such as “Secur’Pass”, “Digital key”, “Securipass”, according to the banks. But these provisions do not discourage the most malicious criminals, who are neither lacking in determination nor inventiveness, and proceed with another bank card scam using a well-oiled method.

First, they call in clients posing as their bank advisers. Sometimes they have the same phone numbers as the latter, or very similar, thanks to computer software for electronic identity theft (spoofing technique). Over the phone, they fake suspicious actions on behalf of future victims. To “regularize the emergency situation”, they ask the person to check if he is in possession of his bank card. If so, they may ask you for the card numbers. Some don’t even need to go through this step – they’ve already gotten this information from the dark web.

They then encourage the victim to log into their secure banking app and then enter their usual payment code or fingerprint. By entering this code or their fingerprint, the victim believes that they are canceling ongoing operations and securing their account. Actually, you confirm a payment made with your bank card by your interlocutor on the phone.

“There’s not much to do”

At that moment, the mistake is made, the damage is done. “When the victim enters the code, they cannot be reimbursed. Because officially, she is the one who made the payment, ”says Matthieu Robin, project manager in the financial sector at UFC-Que Choisir. In fact, it is almost impossible to get a refund when you are a victim of this type of scam. After the transaction is finalized, Matthieu Robin admits it himself: “there is not much to do”. He adds, “criminals attack the last defect, the last link in the chain that remains vulnerable: the human.”

Before the digital boom, consultants knew their clients personally. Today, most business is done online or in a call center comprising several hundred or even several thousand advisers, each of whom handles about a hundred calls per day. This anonymous and impersonal approach makes it easy for criminals.

Also, these scam professionals have a well-honed speech. They are used to manipulating people and can be very persuasive. It is easy to fall into their trap. “These people take the right tone, they are alarmist and at the same time reassuring. They know how to put you in an emotional state that makes you want to react quickly. And when it is a real voice that speaks to you, it is not the same, you have the impression that it is very real ”, insists Matthieu Robin, from UFC-Que Choisir.

These bank card scams through secure applications affect people of all ages and all socio-professional categories. The best way to combat them is prevention. If such a case arises, be vigilant and do not panic at the supposed urgency of the situation. Above all, keep in mind that your bank will never ask you to communicate your personal data over the phone. If you have questions, contact her at her usual coordinates.


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