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Covid-19 has had an enormous impact on us all. With many of society’s ways of working thrown into disarray, we have sadly seen a rise in cybercrime in our industry. This is something that we take extremely seriously – protecting the safety and security of our clients is of the utmost importance. Our security systems are best in class and we continuously review our processes to ensure our clients remain safe.
There are also things that you can do to help protect yourselves. Firstly, understanding the typical methods used by scammers is important – knowing what to look out for and what to do if you think you are being scammed. Here we highlight some typical methods used and what you should do if you are concerned.
The typical methods used
Phishing is where an email is received that asks the recipient to click on a link or open an attachment – the aim being to get the recipient to give away personal information or sometimes to send money. Before clicking on any links, we recommend checking who the email is from and that the email is legitimate. Potential phishing emails may also contain typos or may be from an unknown sender. Emails from Julius Baer will always be in the format firstname.lastname@example.org. If you receive an email that looks unusual then please check with your relationship manager before taking any further action. If you are concerned then you can look on the FCA company register (https://register.fca.org.uk/s/) to obtain our legitimate contact details.
Hacking is where an email is intercepted between being sent and received, and the information it contains – such as payment details – is altered. At Julius Baer, we take this extremely seriously and we have robust processes in place to protect our clients’ data, but please continue to be cautious with what personal information you put into an email. If you are in any doubt, communicate with your relationship manager via our eBanking tool instead of relying on email. If you are not already registered with our eBanking solution then speak to your relationship manager who can organise this for you.
In the case of a clone firm scam you might receive a text or email that impersonates a genuine FCA Registered company, a charity or a government body. Usually sent unexpectedly, these will often ask you for money – an upfront fee to set up a loan or a donation to a good cause. If you are in doubt, check with the company before you click on any links. You can check the FCA company register for legitimate company details (https://register.fca.org.uk/s/), the Charity Commission website for England or Wales (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission) , or the Charity Regulator in Scotland (https://www.oscr.org.uk/).
In some cases, fraudsters can impersonate a company website – sometimes very convincingly. Always check the URL (the Julius Baer website is www.juliusbaer.com) before parting with any personal information. Again, if you are unsure please check the legitimate company details on the FCA website https://register.fca.org.uk/s/
Unfortunately, like other firms in our industry, Julius Baer is not immune to these fraudulent schemes – you can find out more on our fraud alert page https://www.juliusbaer.com/en/legal/fraud-alert/. In the UK in particular we have been involved in an industry wide fraud relating to bond comparison searches, where individuals searching for these are encouraged to open an account with a fraudsters pretending to be the Julius Baer Group. Click here (https://www.juliusbaer.com/en/legal/fraud-alert/) for a list of links and names associated with this fraud, all of which are neither authorised nor allowed by Julius Baer to conduct business.
Social Media and cold calling
Fraudsters are increasingly using social media to make contact with unsuspecting individuals and will occasionally cold call to try and obtain personal information, including bank account details and passwords. If you are asked for personal details on social media or during a cold call, you should delete the message or hang up immediately. Financial services firms will never approach you for details in this way. Once again, if you are unsure then check with your relationship manager or the FCA website (https://register.fca.org.uk/s/) for the legitimate company details.