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Vietcombank blames phishing scam as customer loses $22,300 overnight

Saturday, August 13, 2016, 09:17 GMT+7

A Vietcombank ATM cardholder has complained having lost VND500 million (US$22,321) in her account overnight earlier this month, with the lender claiming its customer was victim of a phishing scam.

Hoang Thi Na Huong has followed a link to a malicious website, where she provided all the crucial information of her ATM account to the scammers, the lender announced on Friday, following a meeting with the Hanoi-based victim.

Huong has previously reported that VND500 million vanished from her account from midnight August 3 to early the following day. She did not receive any one-time password (OTP) for the transactions either via SMS or the Vietcombank app on her smartphone, according to the victim’s account.

Vietcombank met Huong on Thursday to verify the complaint.

The lender eventually said it appears the cardholder was scammed via phishing, a form of fraud in which the attacker tries to learn information such as login credentials or account information by masquerading as a reputable entity or person in email, chat or other communication channels.

According to Vietcombank, there is ground to confirm that Huong followed a bogus website at using her mobile phone on July 28. She lost all the credentials of her bank account at this website.

The scammers then accessed to her account and transferred the money to many other accounts opened at three different banks in Vietnam.

The attackers then withdrew VND200 million ($8,929) via ATM in Malaysia, whereas Vietcombank managed to freeze the remaining VND300 million just in time.

Vietcombank said the Internet browsing history on Huong’s smartphone still shows the visited bogus website.

Huong said she will provide the phone to police to continue investigating the case.

Vietnamese customers fall prey to online scams

Internet fraud has recently proliferating at an alarming rate, prompting many banks to caution their users against revealing information online.

N.M.S, a resident of District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, said that his family members all received a strange link on their Facebook accounts.

After clicking the link, all of their Facebook accounts were infected with viruses, allowing a scam artist to sign in to the accounts and in order to borrow money and extract credit card information.

The scam artist logged into the Facebook account of N.M.S’ aunt in France, informing N.M.S that he needed to purchase some items and asking N.M.S to provide his credit card information, promising that he would repay by cash later.

He also pretended to be N.M.S’ uncle and notified one family member that he needed US$3,500 for a friend currently in the hospital.

Another family member received a request to buy a $300 SIM card, with the explanation that the SIM card would be used to pay for an online order.

“Fortunately, everyone in the family has cautioned each other beforehand, so no one was tricked,” N.M.S said.

On August 10, Vietcombank has cautioned customers currently using internet banking services against providing account information through mobile phones, email, social networks, or unknown links.

A high-ranking Vietcombank official revealed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the caution is given due to the rise of internet frauds, in which scam artists obtain account information from customers in order steal the money in the account.

Meanwhile, according to Sacombank, some scam artists even impersonated bank tellers in order to acquire account information, asking them to reveal information or transfer money as part of a

“Customers should never provide account information, such as card number, security number, password, or authentication number, to another person. Always log into the correct website, and inform the police and banks when in doubt,” Sacombank advised.

“With online scams, users are usually the most vulnerable point in the security system. No security method can protect users in all situations if customers ignore cautions,” VPBank warned.

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