Saudi banks step up drive against fraud

September 17, 2018

Samar Yahya

Saudi Gazette

Saudi banks launched the 10th edition of the anti-fraud awareness campaign tilted “Do not disclose it”. This season’s campaign slogan is # Drag them before they pull you.

The media and banking awareness committee revealed that the first phase of the campaign will focus mainly on raising financial awareness in society, banking clients and beneficiaries, in a way, that will help them face challenges linked to financial scams, a committee official said Monday.

Secretary general of the committee and the spokesman of Saudi banks Talat Zaki Hafiz said that resuming the anti-fraud awareness campaign organized by the committee comes within the framework of realizing threats and their negative impact on local economy and on individuals. He also said the previous campaigns were very positive and well received by individuals, therefore, continuation of such awareness camp gains is very important especially with modern technology in the field of banking business which has proven to be a double-edged weapon.

“Despite the global efforts by the financial industry to contain fraud, it is yet still on the rise and continues to cause a big annual loss the world economy.” Hafiz said “for example, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated the size of money laundering – which is the outcome of fraud- between 2-5% of the local GDP, around $1.5 – 4 trillion. This makes fighting fraud – which also includes fighting money laundering — a shared responsibility between countries.”

Hafiz also noted that Saudi Arabia is considered as one of the few countries which holds a strong position against fraud and has minimal incidents due to strong legislation in financial sector and its advanced technical efficiency. In addition to regulations from Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) and as an example, the number of total reported fraud or attempted fraud cases in 2016 amounted to 4,275 cases while in 2017 they dropped to 2046.

Saad Al- Hareeqi, a member of the Media and Banking Awareness Committee of Saudi banks, said that Saudi banks are committed to creating awareness among society members. According to him, “Do not disclose it” campaign has a long-term strategy that seeks to protect financial transactions and provide a safe environment for clients and bank customers.

Turki Al Sayari, manager of financial awareness program, presented four main topics that will be the core focus during this season’s anti-fraud awareness campaign, they are : fake investments, providing personal banking information via phone, using credit cards in untrusted online stores, and reacting to fake prizes.

Al Sayari said those four topics are the most-spread causes of fraud, hence, raising public awareness on how to handle them will be important.

As for the online slogan # Drag them before they pull you, Al Sayari said the message behind it is to help people understand and follow procedures explained by banks and financial entities in the Kingdom and ignore any attempts by scammers to get into their personal banking information. Campaign messages will be dispatched on different media platforms, like outdoor media, cinema screens, TV channels, websites and social media.

September 17, 2018
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