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Banks warn people to be wary of scam texts (Update)

Thousand of dollars were withdrawn from the bank account of the manager of a Limassol-based company, after he fell prey to a message from scammers on his phone.

According to Limassol CID the 62-year-old victim reported to police that on Wednesday he had received a message on his mobile informing him that his account in a bank in Cyprus had been temporarily blocked and asking him to confirm his identity.

The victim followed the link to a website where he entered his account codes, resulting in approximately $19,000 ending up in a bank account in Spain.

The case is under investigation by the police’s financial crimes branch, however, not many Cypriots seem to have fallen prey to the latest spate of scam bank messages sent out over the past few weeks.

The banking association nonetheless warned people on Friday to be wary of such messages.

Speaking to CyBC, spokesman from the Cyprus Banking Association Andreas Kostouris said that people should never give out their passwords or information about their bank accounts.

Kostouris said that most probably over half of Cyprus has received such messages, which are sent out en masse, using different bank names each time.

Most of the messages Kostouris added, say that the account has been disabled or “locked” and that the user must send of login with their details to a link in the message to fix the problem.

“Banks will never ask for the codes. If there is a technical problem, the bank will either call or send a statement in writing. People should not put their codes,” he said.

According to the reports, these messages contain the phrase “Your account has been temporarily locked, please verify your identity at the following link: https://…….”.

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