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CBSL warns the public to beware of online scams

Sri Lankans have been under threat of several types of financial frauds and scams being operated through social media, Internet-based applications and mobile payment applications, the Central Bank warned.  Most of these scams are conducted through web or mobile app based easy loan schemes that attract the public, the Central Bank revealed in a special announcement today (22).  

During such a loan application evaluation process, the fraudsters entice the public to share confidential personal customer information/data.

This data included Debit/Credit Card numbers, personal identification numbers (PINs), card verification digits commonly found at the back of the card and referred to as CVV, CVC or CVS numbers, card expiry date, transaction verification information such as One-Time-Passwords (OTPs)

These scammers are also requesting internet users for their internet banking – username, password, OTP etc.

People have been strongly advised to exercise due diligence and care to avoid becoming victims of the scams operating in the guise of money lending businesses and obtain full information of the financial transaction and the lending party before entering into an agreement and conduct financial transactions with regulated/authorised entities. They will have to be extremely vigilant when dealing with easy/instant loan schemes and  avoid entering into agreements that it is difficult to fully understand the implications of the contents of the terms and conditions.

The should also be cautious when applying to easy/instant loan schemes with characteristics such as attractive slogans which lure customers in such as zero interest for the first loan

The scammers are offering extremely high interest rates even though the initial interest rates may be low.

Further, the Central Bank wishes to request the public to obtain real-time notification services, such as SMS alerts, from their banks or non-bank financial institutions, so that they would become aware of any fraudulent activity that takes place using their accounts, instantly.

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