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AfricaMoney | August 20, 2017

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Scam Alert: Bank of Mauritius warns against suspect SWIFT messages

Scam Alert: Bank of Mauritius warns against suspect SWIFT messages

In the last few days, fraudulent SWIFT messages have been circulated to the public under the logo and the seal of BOM alerting individuals of the pending credit of a huge sum of money to their bank account and requesting for the recipient’s bank account details. (Image: Switched)

Got a SWIFT message over e-mail with the logo of Bank of Mauritius (BOM) attempting to convince you that you will receive a huge sum of money in your bank account if you provide your bank details? Beware! You are at risk of falling prey to a phishing scam.

In the last few days, fraudulent SWIFT messages have been circulated to the public under the logo and the seal of BOM alerting individuals of the pending credit of a huge sum of money to their bank account and requesting for the recipient’s bank account details.

These communications have all the signs of a classical phishing scam, where phishing refers to an attempt to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity through e-mails or other electronic media.

To make clear why you should immediately be on the lookout if you receive such an e-mail, you must know that the central bank does not maintain accounts in favor of individual customers.

BOM only maintains accounts for financial institutions licensed by it, the government, and some select corporate entities, and accordingly, is not in a position to provide any clearance for individual funds transfers, an act that is implied in the fraudulent SWIFT message.

Also, SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) does not pertain to individual transactions, but provides a secure payment network that allows financial and non-financial institutions, such as corporates, to transfer financial transactions through a ‘financial message’.

In a recent communiqué, BOM has warned the public at large that they could fall victim to this scam and has cautioned them against providing their bank details to any person if they receive such messages.

Whoever feels that they have been scammed are recommended to report the matter to the police to avoid the misuse of their personal financial information.

Additional information on these fraudulent schemes has been provided on the bank’s website in order to raise public awareness on risks associated with such illegal financial schemes.

The central bank has also encouraged the public to bring to its attention any suspicious information and suspect communication.

The communiqué goes on to inform the public that the bank is not responsible for any misuse of the bank’s name, logo and address intended to defraud the public.

Before taking any further action, those who are not sure about the authenticity of an email, letter or telephone communication allegedly from, for, or on behalf of the bank and/or its officials, are requested to call on 202 3820 or send an email on helpdesk@bom.mu.

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