The news is by your side.

Rising Banking Frauds in Pakistan: NTISB Highlights Challenges and Solutions

NTISB Alerts: Increasing Banking Frauds Demand Our Watchful Attention


In a stark revelation, the National Telecommunication and Information Security Board (NTISB) acknowledges an alarming surge in banking and financial frauds. Disturbingly, NTISB concedes that there exists no single technical solution capable of eradicating or detecting the intricate web of social engineering tactics employed by fraudsters.

As the specter of cybercrime looms over Pakistan’s financial landscape, NTISB has sounded the alarm through an advisory titled ‘Surge in Financial/Banking Scams & Prevention.’ The surge in fraud cases can be attributed, in part, to a glaring lack of cybersecurity awareness among users.

Growing Threat Landscape: With the rise of phishing and vishing techniques, unsuspecting clients of the banking sector are being systematically targeted. The modus operandi involves exploiting the vulnerability of users who often lack the necessary awareness to distinguish between legitimate and malicious communications.

The Perils of Social Engineering: NTISB underscores that social engineering is a multi-faceted challenge, making it difficult to counter through technical means alone. Fraudsters adeptly manipulate unsuspecting victims using various tactics:

  1. Anonymity: Attackers leverage secure and anonymous cyber avenues to perpetrate their operations, making tracing them back a formidable task.
  2. Social Engineering: Perpetrators impersonate bank employees or managers, often using untraceable phone numbers, compromised WhatsApp accounts, or masked official numbers. They deceitfully extract personally identifiable information (PII) from users, including internet banking credentials, CNIC numbers, debit card details, and PINs.
  3. Malicious Applications: Victims receive SMS containing links to phishing websites resembling legitimate banking or government portals. Users are tricked into providing personal information and downloading a seemingly authentic APK file for verification. These malicious apps invade user devices, siphoning sensitive data such as names, addresses, contact information, and financial details.

Guidance to Foil Frauds: While NTISB concedes that social engineering is a complex challenge, it offers practical guidelines to shield users from falling victim:

  1. Vigilance: Stay alert to calls or messages claiming to be from banks; call the official helpline directly to verify suspicious communications.
  2. Privacy Protection: Never share sensitive information like passwords, CNIC numbers, or card PINs over the phone, as legitimate institutions don’t request such data via calls.
  3. Number Scrutiny: Be cautious of suspicious numbers that don’t resemble typical mobile numbers, as scammers often employ tactics to mask their identities.
  4. Skepticism: Be wary of false SMS promising lottery winnings or government benefits, as they’re often fraudulent.
  5. Sender Identification: Genuine bank SMS messages typically display a sender ID (bank’s short name) instead of a phone number.
  6. App Caution: Avoid clicking on dubious links or SMS offers; verify apps before installation and download from reputable sources like Google Play Store.
  7. Multi-Factor Authentication: Enable MFA for internet banking apps, social media, and email accounts.
  8. Regular Password Updates: Maintain strong and frequently updated passwords for online accounts.
  9. App Scrutiny: Review app details, permissions, user reviews, and information sections before downloading or installing apps.
  10. Antivirus Vigilance: Install updated antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-phishing software on devices and run regular scans.
  11. URL Verification: Only click on URLs with clear domain indications; use search engines to verify legitimacy.
  12. Complaint Channels: Lodge complaints with the bank’s helpline and escalate if necessary.

In cases of banking fraud, users are encouraged to take action swiftly. If the bank’s response is inadequate within 45 days, filing a written complaint with the Banking Mohtasib of Pakistan becomes a recommended course of action. The battle against financial fraud necessitates a combination of vigilance, awareness, and cooperation between users, banks, and regulatory bodies.

Leave a comment