Few days ago, my bank account almost got compromised. This was my first time encountering such scam so I initially didn’t suspect any foul play.
How did it all start?
For some weeks GTB has been getting on my nerves, billing me with silly charges that did not add up. Recently, I made a POS transaction for which I didn’t get value. I informed GTB and we’ve been on a reversal case for weeks with no headway. Amidst all of this, one early morning I got yet another bank charge for 2016 in 2022??! At this point, I had reached my breaking point.
Angrily, I went on Instagram and Twitter to rant on GTB customer support page.
Within minutes, I got a message from a GTB customer care assistant page on Instagram. They sent me a message apologizing for their services and assured me they were going to work on it. At this point, they had already won my heart because they had apologized. All this rush of emotions just blinded my thoughts to check out this page that had just sent me a message. The page had a GTB logo so I thought it was authentic.
They asked me to use their WhatsApp live chat to get in touch faster with a customer representative. Without second guessing it, I clicked on the link right away. I introduced myself on the WhatsApp DM and stated my issue, my POS transaction was more pressing than the silly charges that had irritated me that morning.
Next, they proceeded to ask for my account number and a picture of the POS receipts which I sent.
I started getting uncomfortable when they asked me to send a 6-digit authentication code for confirmation that GTB had just sent to me. I had already sent the digits before it occurred to me to read the authentication message.
I immediately questioned the agent chatting with me and he went further to ask for my card pin and digits. At that point, it dawned on me that I was just one step behind from falling victim.
Is this how my hard-earned money would’ve gone just like that? I asked myself.
I confronted the customer care assistant and I got blocked immediately. I headed to the Instagram page that responded to do some reconnaisance.
The page was private with 323 followers and 3 posts. This is an automatic red flag.
Their mode of operation is well thought out that you won’t even realize these are criminals. If you’re not at alert, you WILL fall victim.
My story is a typical example of Bank Impersonation Scams. This is a type of social engineering attack which involves the conscious manipulation of a victim’s state of being or emotion to obtain financial information without the victim realizing that a security breach is occurring.
HOW TO AVOID BEING A VICTIM:
- Be security conscious; Always stop, look, think, and if still not sure verify!
- Don’t share information such as passwords, and CCV codes.
- If you have issues with your bank, please visit the nearest bank close to you or ensure to confirm your bank’s WhatsApp helpline from their authentic website and social media pages before clicking on any link.
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