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Press Release 31 August 2015

"Beware of Fraudulent Calls, Verify the Caller's Identity" Promotion Campaign

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB) together with HKAB member banks announced today (31 August) the joint efforts to raise public awareness of phone scams and help further protect bank customers' interests.

All retail banks have been providing customer hotlines for the public to verify the identity of callers as genuinely from banks or not. To further facilitate this verification process, the industry jointly introduces more measures and, from this day on, the hotline numbers and relevant information of all retail banks are posted on the websites of the individual retail banks, and the dedicated page newly set up on the websites of the HKMA and HKAB for easy access by the public. Callers from retail banks will, in addition to giving out their full names, provide their phone extension number, direct telephone number, or staff ID number as "identifying numbers" when contacting the public who may verify callers' identity through the customer hotlines of the respective banks before one proceeds with any transactions.

Mr. Arthur Yuen, Deputy Chief Executive of the HKMA, said, "HKMA reminds the general public to take precautionary steps to authenticate calls purportedly from banks and bear in mind not to casually divulge sensitive personal information. If you receive a call where the caller claims to represent a bank, even though your account is said to be at stake and no matter how interested you are in the products being promoted, do not take their word without verifying their identity first. The hotlines posted on the websites of HKMA, HKAB and individual retail banks should help the public to authenticate the callers' identity."

Mr. George Leung, HKAB's Acting Chairperson, said: "Customer protection is of paramount importance to our member banks. We strongly suggest the public to stay vigilant against phone scams made in the name of banks and make use of the additional information provided by banks to confirm the veracity of such calls. It is our hope that the concerted effort adopted by the industry would help raise our customers' awareness on protecting themselves against such scams."

The HKMA and the HKAB would also like to remind the public that the HKMA and banks will not ask for any sensitive personal information (including login passwords or one-time passwords) through phone calls or emails. Members of the public are also reminded not to provide sensitive personal information to unidentified callers and not to simply rely on the incoming call display to establish the true identity of the caller.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority
The Hong Kong Association of Banks
31 August 2015

Photo Captions:

1. Mr. Arthur Yuen, Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, delivers a speech at the "Beware of Fraudulent Calls, Verify the Caller's Identity" press conference, reminding the public not to casually divulge sensitive personal information, but take precautionary steps to authenticate callers' identity.



2. Mr. George Leung, the Acting Chairperson of the Hong Kong Association of Banks delivers a speech at the press conference, and appeals to the general public to verify caller authenticity through established channels to prevent frauds.



3. Mr. Arthur Yuen, Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (back row 6th left), Mr. George Leung, the Acting Chairperson of the Hong Kong Association of Banks (back row 6th right) and representatives from 21 retail banks in Hong Kong officiate the kick-off ceremony together, symbolising the joint efforts of HKMA, HKAB and 21 retail banks to enhance measures to protect bank customers and help customers to safeguard their interests against phone scams.




Attachment: Press Release on "Beware of Fraudulent Calls,Verify the Caller's Identity"Promotion Campaign

 
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