New Banking Scam Warning

Customers advised to remain vigilant and avoid unknown apps...

December 10, 2021
New Banking Scam Warning
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Banking customers who use Android phones are being warned of a new scam technique that has caused some customers to lose large sums of money.

Scammers are posing as banks and texting customers to warn them that they need to download a new anti-scam app, and then calling them to convince them it is ‘genuine’.

Cleafy, a fraud management firm, has revealed details of this latest attempt as the number of people struggling to claim back lost funds through scams continues to rise.

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This new threat comes in the shape of a piece of malware called BRATA. This software has been hidden in various apps on the Google Play Store before, but this latest tactic is potentially much more successful.

Victims, who may have had their data stolen from another hack, will receive an SMS message proclaiming to be from the bank, asking the customer to download a piece of software to protect them from fraud.

Once the customer clicks the link in the text message, they’ll be directed to a phishing page that will attempt to steal the customer’s data including security question answers.

Regardless of what happens on that page, the victim will then also receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the bank.

They will push for the customer to download the app while on the phone, simultaneously prompting them to accept various permission requests which will give the scammers access to online banking apps and any security messages from the actual bank, as well as installing screen recording to capture passwords.

Customers are being advised to be wary of any text messages they receive that they don’t recognise. They should avoid clicking any link, and if they do then they must never give out personal bank details or passwords for their accounts, regardless of how official the websites may look.

The latest advice recommends that customers don’t download apps that they’ve never heard of, and to hang up if they receive a call may be from a scammer and call their bank back.

Banks Facing Pressure

Over the last two years, fraud cases have risen drastically in the UK. It comes after a voluntary code of conduct was introduced in 2019 asking banks to commit to treating customers fairly and reimbursing victims of scams such as the new BRATA malware attempt.

Only nine banks signed up at the time, and since then the interpretation of the code has been varied, with some customers facing an uphill battle to get their money back when banks have claimed that the customer wasn’t vigilant enough with their data.

As such, regulators have been pushing for further reform. The Financial Ombudsman has already been settling more than three-quarters of cases referred to it in favour of customers, and now the Payment Systems Regulator is looking to turn the voluntary code into a mandatory one, which would force banks to repay customers.

As such, expect banks to tighten security even further and push for even more awareness in a bid to prevent scams in the first place.

Andrew Cook
Andrew Cook
Hi, I'm Andrew and I am a news writer for CompareBanks. My main focus is on digital and online banks and looking at the banking landscape is changing within the UK and around the world.

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