The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has asked the general public not to share personal information on fake calls.
The SBP issued a statement on Monday in which it said, “It has come to our knowledge that fraudsters are attempting to defraud the banking customers by seeking bank account details on the pretext of biometric verification”.
The central bank said that in many cases this fraud scheme is being carried out through fake calls by masking the official helpline or registered numbers of different banks. The receivers, after looking at the official helpline number apparently believe that the call is genuine or from the bank and share their personal information including bank account number, ID, password, CNIC number, etc.
This sharing of information results in the loss of funds even during the calls. The fraudsters generally appear as or imitate officials of SBP, army officers or representatives of superior courts of law, etc on the pretext of biometric verification of the receiver’s accounts.
SBP in this regard has advised the general public to be cautious and immediately contact their banks on their registered numbers/helpline themselves instead of responding to the incoming fake calls and sharing their personal information.
It is also to be noted here that SBP/banks/microfinance banks do not conduct biometric verification of bank accounts of existing customers through phone calls. In case if anyone receives such type of fake calls, the authorities have asked the public to contact law enforcement agencies or the SBP helpline at 021-111-727-273.
The State Bank of Pakistan issued a directive last year in October that all the commercial banks including microfinance and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) must verify the bank accounts of their customers with biometrics.
Previously, the banks had no online authentication system and the entire process was handled manually. But due to the emergence of numerous bank accounts with billions of rupees worth of transactions and misused CNICs of people along with the compromised reputation of the country’s banking system made it inevitable for the SBP to make biometric verification of all bank accounts compulsory.
But many fraudsters are taking this directive as an opportunity to earn easy money. Therefore, SBP has advised bank account holders not to turn over their information to unknown callers.