FIA asks SBP to ensure safe internet banking

Published: May 30, 2018


LAHORE: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Cyber Crime Cell, Lahore has recommended the State Bank of Pakistan to make certain amendments in order to ensure an error-free internet banking policy to save customers from fraudsters.

A letter written by Director FIA Lahore Dr Usman Anwar to the Director Banking Policy and Regulations State Bank of Pakistan reads, “FIA Cyber Crime Cell Lahore intends to draw your attention towards certain loopholes in internet banking which have deprived people of large amounts of money as they fell victim to scams run by hoaxers impersonating themselves as army officers, customer service helplines etc. These impersonators seek personal details like CNIC and bank account numbers on the pretext of data verification.” The letter further stated that FIA has lately been receiving a large number of such complaints from clients of certain banks which have poor security checks than other scheduled banks.

Moreover, FIA suggested some security measures to be taken by all banks to avoid such frauds.

Pakistanis fast adopting digital transactions

One recommendation is that all data required for internet banking such as mobile number and email ID should be added into the system through branch after customer verification. Another suggestion presented by the agency was to enable dual verification of codes and pins registered for online banking while OTP (one time PIN Code) for each transaction, including IBFT and Bill payments must also be introduced.

It also recommended that all beneficiaries should be added prior to transaction by user through dual verification and that banks should also support SMS alerts and OTP on foreign number (if requested by customer) to facilitate them abroad, so they can securely operate their accounts and remain informed of every transaction taking place.

Earlier, the cybercrime cell of FIA Lahore had issued an alert to citizens to be careful of sharing personal information to anyone over phone calls. It had issued a letter last week which revealed that it had been observed that sham calls were being made by impersonators, presenting themselves as Pakistan armed officials and banking helpline officers. These thieves sought personal details on the pretext of data verification and lottery schemes. Hence the cell suggested the public to not respond to calls or messages from unknown numbers claiming to be representatives of any organisation or national institution.

However, this is not the first time a government department has warned the public of such scams. Earlier in January, DG ISPR had asked people not to share any personal and banking information with anyone who claims to be an army officer over the phone on the pretext of census verification.

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