Vietnam banks warn of scam calls and emails for credit card info

By Le Chi   July 26, 2018 | 04:58 pm PT
Vietnam banks warn of scam calls and emails for credit card info
Some Vietnamese bank customers have reported receiving emails and phone calls asking for credit card information. Photo by Reuters
Several banks in Vietnam have warned customers about credit card info being stolen using scam emails or phone calls.

The warnings have been issued in light of recent reports in which customers have received emails and phone calls, supposedly from the police or even the banks themselves, asking for personal information, including credit card and card verification numbers.

Thanh of HCMC recently received an email from the Vietnam Prosperity Bank (VPBank) asking for her name, home address and password to gain access to her bank account.

“These are all private information of card holders, so there’s no reason why the bank would email us to ask for them,” she said.

Thu, 68, from the central province of Quang Ngai, recently received a phone call from a man who claimed to be working for the police who said she was suspected of being part of a drug trafficking ring in Hanoi. Thu was asked to provide all information regarding the money she had stored in banks, and to transfer an undisclosed amount of money to an unknown account for a “lesser sentence.”

“I panicked and intended to do what they said at first, but then I thought, if I was staying home all day, how can I be involved in a drug trafficking ring? So I calmed down and said that I would discuss this further with my son before calling back.” No other call came after that incident.

In response to such news, the Maritime Bank has told its customers that banks would never require personal information from customers, for example bank account numbers, PIN, Internet Banking usernames or passwords. It also warned customers that any email or phone calls requiring them to provide such info are scams.

Additionally, customers should be wary of phone numbers beginning with +31385 or +36022, as they are most likely to do with staged kidnappings to demand ransom.

The HCMC branch of the State Bank of Vietnam has also asked all banks to reassess their internal control processes, issue warning to customers and alert the police about potential scam cases.

In Thanh’s case, VPBank immediately rechecked its systems and sent out warnings to other customers not to provide their account info to any other entities. The bank has also pledged to develop countermeasures to prevent future cases from happening.

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