ABN Amro client check could trigger phishing scams: Payments authority

It is "very likely" that fraudsters will target ABN Amro customers in the coming period, after the bank announced that it has to re-check all its existing clients in the fight against money laundering and other financial crimes, according to the Dutch Payments Association. 

"Every bit of news from banks or the announcement of new banking services leads to new emails or phone calls fishing for private data", Payments Association spokesperson Berend Jan Beugel said to the Telegraaf. Everyone should be alert if they get a phone call or email from their bank, but ABN Amro customers will have to pay extra attention to that warning in the coming period, he advised. 

On Wednesday ABN Amro CEO Kees van Dijkhuizen announced that Dutch central bank DNB ordered the bank to review all 5 million of its private customer files for suspicious activities. Van Dijkhuizen stressed that ABN Amro customers will not have to identify themselves again. In fact, the vast majority of customers will not even notice the review, he said. "Much of it will be done automatically." Customers will only get a call or letter if something in their file needs to be clarified.

Still, this review seems to be a great opportunity for fraudsters to target unsuspecting bank customers. Never give your PIN code, bank card or copy of your passport upon request, Beugel said to the newspaper. "A bank employee will never ask for this."

Through "phishing" criminals try to get hold of their victim's banking information, for example by sending them an email from their "bank" where they have to log into their online banking. Last year 3.81 million euros were stolen in the Netherlands through such scams, according to figures from the Dutch Payments Association. In 2017 that amount was 1.05 million euros. 

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