Trust issue at heart of Fiji cyber frauds

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ANZ Fiji country head Rabih Yazbek. Picture: JONA KONATACI/FT FILE

The single most common factor behind most cyber frauds in Fiji is the abuse of trust by people known to victims rather than technology.

This was revealed by ANZ Fiji’s country head Rabih Yazbek at a meeting with the press in Suva on Thursday.

“You may be surprised to hear this but the single most common fraud that we see in Fiji comes down to our customers sharing their PIN (Personal Identification Number), their login details on their Internet banking, passwords with other people who they might work with or trust and then that trust is abused and money is cleaned out of their account,” Mr Yazbek said.

“Quite often, the customers would say: ‘I didn’t make these withdrawals from this ATM, someone has defrauded me’.

“We’d go through the ATM footage at that time and we’d see their daughter or their husband or their sibling.

“We had a case last year where tens of thousands of dollars were stolen, we found out that the customer had a driver and at a convenience store, they used to give the driver the card and PIN and this one time, the driver took advantage of that.

“So quite often when there’s fraud in Fiji, you’ll find that it’s an employee or someone that you’ve trusted with your credentials (who is behind it). Quite often. It’s very rare that it’s otherwise,” Mr Yazbek said.

He said while the bank constantly pushes out awareness banners and educational materials to its clients, nothing can protect those who readily share their credentials with those they trust.

“That’s effectively like handling your wallet over and we can’t protect against that,” he said.

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