Consumer and Protection Commission (CCPC) has warned the general public to be cautious of suspected false online banking agents.

In a press release, CCPC director Brian Lingela warned the general public against false agents masquerading as employees for various banking institutions in the country to steal from unsuspecting consumers in the wake of COVID-19.

This comes after the commission received complaints from the public who allege to have been victimized by unscrupulous individuals to be bank agents soliciting for personal banking details from unsuspecting consumers in order to hack their systems and steal money.

“We have noticed that since most consumers now use online and mobile banking services as an alternative to physical banking following COVID-19, fraudsters are moving swiftly to try and extort money by phoning unsuspecting consumers asking them to change their personal details like the personal identification number (PIN) in order to migrate them to a bank’s new system when in fact not.” Mr Lingela said.

He further urged consumers to take precautionary measures by verifying the authenticity of such online and mobile banking agents with respective commercial banks and ensure that they do not disclose their personal banking information to avoid losing their hard earned monies.

Most commercial banks have been encouraging their customers to use online and other digital platforms to transact as a way of combating COVID-19, unfortunately, some individuals have taken advantage of this and are using it to exploit the public. This is potentially fraudulent,” Mr Lingela stated.

The commission will work with the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) and Zambia Police to ensure that the perpetrators of such fraudulent conduct are identified and punished.

CCPC prohibits such fraudulent conducts under section 308 of the penal code chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia and offenders are liable to imprisonment for 3 years.

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