The campaign’s objectives and details were announced at a press conference held at Al Khalidiya District Council in Al Khan, Sharjah.
Sohaila Ahmed, Staff Reporter
In line with the national agenda of the UAE Vision 2021, which aims to make the UAE as the safest place in the world, the Sharjah Islamic Bank and Sharjah Police General Headquarters, on Wednesday launched an awareness campaign, “Stay Safe… Secure Your Account”, which aimed to educate members of the community about the bank fraud phenomenon, to provide them with means to face it and to minimise the damage it may cause to customers of banks in the UAE.
The campaign’s objectives and details were announced at a press conference held at Al Khalidiya District Council in Al Khan in Sharjah. During the press conference, Hassan Al-Bulghouni, Director of Corporate Communications at Sharjah Islamic Bank and Colonel Faisal Ibrahim Bin Nassar, Deputy Director of Criminal Investigation Department at Sharjah Police, addressed the banking fraud from both the banking and security aspects. They explained ways to prevent fraud and also answered several queries from journalists.
The conference was attended by Lieutenant Colonel Hamad Abdulla Bin Qasmoul, acting director of the community police department at Sharjah Police General Command, Lt. Col. Mohammed Hassan Al Mannai, Head of Community Awareness Section, Community Police Department, and Captain Mohsen Ahmed, director of the cybercrime department of the Sharjah Police.
It was also attended by Jassim Al Baloushi, Head of organisational Excellence at SIB, Mohammed Yousif, Head of Customer Complaints and Hassan Al Midfa, Head of Government Business.
Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Major-General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of the Sharjah Police, emphasised the importance of cooperation between the Sharjah Police Headquarters and its strategic partners in overcoming many of the security phenomena and problems experienced by different sectors of the society.
He highlighted that the awareness campaign was launched to educate bank customers, through media and social media platforms, about ways to protect themselves from fraud crimes that target stealing their money by hacking into their bank accounts to obtain their data and confidential bank card numbers.
The Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police, said, “The absence of awareness among many of the victims about these crimes from the bank customers, might make them, in one way or another, responsible for what had happened to them. They accepted dealing with anonymous phone calls or text messages, claiming they were employees of the bank. They gave their bank account information and confidential card numbers to such an anonymous person who claimed the need to update their data. They didn’t even verify the source of such contacts. Then, discovering late that they were not dealing with the bank, they would be surprised that fraudsters had withdrawn their money and stolen their savings.”
Major General Al Shamsi called on all members of the society, especially bank customers, to participate in the campaign and benefit from the information provided to them. He asked bank customers to pay heed to bank instructions and understand how the bank manages customer accounts. This will, in turn, help protect bank cards’ information and numbers, thus protect customers from theft and reduce fraud crimes.
Mohammed Abdullah, the CEO of Sharjah Islamic Bank, stated that, “Launching this awareness campaign is part of the efforts of Sharjah Islamic Bank and Sharjah Police General Headquarters to educate bank customers and the public at large about the ways to protect their financial statements and bank accounts. It also explains to them ways to avoid fraud and electronic phishing in its various forms, including viruses and cunning software that is designed by scammers.”
He also added that fraudsters come up with several ways to obtain sensitive personal information via a phone call, e-mail and SMS. Customers receiving any suspicious e-mails or phone calls or suspecting any unusual online bank account activity should immediately report to the Customer Service Centre.
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