Fake Apps, Websites, Email Scams On The Rise 

Ira Taylor
Branch Manager, Scotiabank TCI

 Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands– June 8, 2021 – Scotiabank has urged increased vigilance among its customers when navigating websites, using mobile applications, and responding to any email requests purporting to be from the Bank.  

“Customers are also asked to take steps to verify the legitimacy of any email, websites and apps – especially sites used to conduct purchases and other financial transactions or requesting personal information,” shared Ira Taylor, Branch Manager, Scotiabank TCI. 

Taylor notes that across the region, the Bank has noted multiple attempts to defraud customers or obtain personal information using online channels. 

Fake websites and apps 

Taylor says online criminals have become more skilled at creating fake websites and mobile applications that appear identical to legitimate one.  

He noted that scammers often create fake correspondence, apps and websites with names that are so similar that a user may not notice the difference. One of the first things that a user can look out for is differences in the name, formatting, and general appearance of the online item.  Broken links and sites that appear to be poorly designed are an immediate tell-tale sign that a website may be a fraud. 

With regard to apps, if the user is bombarded with multiple requests for personal information, several pop-up ads or other abnormal requests, users should immediately exit and uninstall the app,” he instructed. 

Missing Contact Information  

Customers should check to ensure that retail websites have up-to-date contact information such as a working telephone number that a human representative answers, a legitimate email address as well as a mailing address. “This is important in the event that the customer or the Bank needs to seek redress on a purchase or transaction,” Taylor explained. 

Suspicious Requests for Personal Information 

Email or phishing scams are another way that customers are being deceived. “Many can be so convincing in appearance that they can be easily mistaken. Email scams often prompt recipients to take immediate action to prevent or stop unauthorized access and in doing so, customers can unwittingly expose their personal information.”  

Scotiabank says it will never request personal information, payments, passwords, personal identification numbers (PINS) by asking them to click a link. 

Scams Evolve 

“We want everyone to be cautious as it is very difficult to provide a full list of the methods that are used to scam customers” Taylor said. ”If you may have accidentally clicked a link or provided such information, immediate contact should be made with the Bank.” 

He also noted that increasingly the financial industry has been a key target for scammers who have even created sites that mimic Banks’ online and mobile channels.