Call Impersonation Challenge – Can the Fraudsters be defeated?
There is an urgent need for customers and their financial institutions to work together to prevent identity fraud. Every day we hear stories of scammers coming up with new ways to steal customers’ personal information by pretending to be officials from their banks. Impersonation of officials through phone calls has more recently become the easiest way fraudsters use to steal personal information, transfer money from the customers’ accounts to their own or carry out other fraudulent activities within their bank accounts.
In attempts to stop these identity-related fraud activities, Equity has rolled out a universal number for all outbound communication to its customers and other external stakeholders. Moving forward, customers will be contacted by one outgoing number from Equity, 0763 000 000 under Equitel’s main prefix ‘0763’.
Equity says they are committed to promoting safety measures when communicating to customers thereby giving them the confidence to know when their Bank is calling them as part of customer service and relationship management. Speaking during the universal number rollout on 24th August 2020, Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr. James Mwangi said the bank is always gearing towards improving their 24-hour customer service experience and helping customers to easily identify them when they call.
“We have rolled out this number 0763 000 000 in our continued effort to improve customer experience. All our customers and stakeholders will easily now identify when their bank is calling them whenever they see 0763 000 000 number displayed on their phones. Customers will continue to reach us through our 24 hours Contact Centre by calling 100 Call Centre number or 0763 063 000 Contact Centre number,” said Dr James Mwangi
Dr. Mwangi reminded the customers that the bank will never call to ask for confidential customer information and urged them to be very alert of any caller that asks for this information. He advised them to immediately discontinue such calls and report the number by sending it to 333 via SMS.
By posing as bank officials, scammers would want to deceive you into giving up critical private information like bank account details, credit card numbers, identification numbers, and PINs, and might sound so authentic that you get confused. Equity reiterates that they will never call to ask you to reveal personal information such as your account PIN or passwords, neither will they ask you to transfer money into a ‘safe account’ as many fraudsters would claim.
Always be aware that your bank will never ask for sensitive information through phone or email. See the list below of things you should not do.
- DO NOT tell them your account number
- DO NOT Share your PIN/ One Time PIN or cards security number
- DO NOT Share your online banking password
- DO NOT Transfer money to an unknown account
- DO NOT Provide your next of kin name
- DO NOT Give your full date of birth
- DO NOT Share your full home address
- DO NOT carry out a test transaction to find out whether your account is working
- IGNORE Threats to close your account for refusal to give the above information.
- Report any suspicious numbers calling or texting you asking for your banking information to 333
At least for Equity, customers now know that the only number the bank will use to contact them is 0763 000 000. The lender pledges to continue focusing on its innovation and digitization strategy that has seen its mobile and internet banking channels process 83% of all transactions, with agents and merchants processing 12% of transactions by 30th June 2020. 98% of all its customer transactions take place outside the branch, solidifying the Group’s position as a digital financial service provider. The bank currently has over 14 million customers across the region whose priority remains the ability to transact digitally and conveniently in a secure manner.