SEB Bank: clients report scammers – letters from VID and calls from the police

Lately SEB Bank clients have reported many cases of scammers contacting them, claiming to be from the State Revenue Service (VID) with information regarding possible tax returns, the bank reports.
According to the bank, the other most popular method used by scammers involves phone calls, in which they pretend to be working for the police or a bank security service. This way scammers tell their potential victims about alleged attempts by some third party to gain access to their account, open a loan on their name, or withdraw a large sum of money from a bank branch office with “their consent”.
SEB Bank’s Security Service lead Mārcis Pelcis notes that statistical data indicates there are many residents who fall for scammers’ schemes. Previously, the bank had warned clients that scammers usually become more active in March and April – as this is usually the so-called income declaration submission period and the first compensations to loan takers are provided. This is why residents can receive e-mails from VID about alleged tax returns.
Pelcis notes that payment of compensation to loan takers will happen automatically – residents do not have to apply anywhere. The only communication channel the bank uses to inform clients about their compensation is their internet bank account.
The bank’s clients receive e-mails from scammers, detailing how their tax return is ready to be paid, and that to receive it, they need to scan QR code or click on the attached hyperlink. Clicking on the hyperlink provided, victims are brought to a website that resembles VID official website. The page lists the calculated tax return amount. All the bank client needs to do is enter their personal code and phone number.

The main thing that gives scammers away is the page’s web address, explains Pelcis.

Scammers are also often lazy – leave multiple links or entire sections of their “website” inactive, as clicking on them does nothing.
Additionally, bank employees have noticed a trend when more and more clients are contacted by scammers claiming to be representatives of State Police. These scammers try to fool residents and register a loan or withdraw a large sum of money from a bank with alleged authorisation from the actual bank client.
Pelcis stresses that there are also attempts to convince victims to approve payments using Smart-ID. For example, scammers may request their victims to enter Smart-ID codes in order to “stop a transaction or block the account”. Scammers may also ask their victims to withdraw money and had it over “for safe-keeping” to a “police officer”.
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