One of Bermuda's banks has stated that Fraud is a "constant" concern, with "bad actors" becoming increasingly more skilled in their attempts to deceive clients.
According to Butterfield Bank, fraudsters are increasingly using social media, direct phone calls, and text messaging in addition to e-mails.
The warning follows The Royal Gazette's publication of a story about a man who was duped out of $35,000 from two HSBC accounts.
It comes after the Bermuda Police Service reported that the island has already seen hundreds of financial scams this year.
A representative for Butterfield Bank stated: "Fraudsters are constantly trying to find new ways to try and steal people's personal information and money through phishing attacks and other sorts of attempted fraud.
"As part of our proactive approach to fraud prevention, our team continuously scans for emerging scammer approaches.
"These criminals have advanced in recent years, using social media, phone calls, and text messaging in addition to e-mails.
"Butterfield will never request any personal information from you via email, phone, social media, or SMS, including login credentials, PINs, or one-time security codes.
Individuals can find additional advice on how to safeguard their accounts in the security and fraud area of our website.
The comments were made in response to Raj Hegde, a subeditor at The Royal Gazette, being duped by a fraudulent SMS message purporting to be from One Communications.
The scam is carried out using a text message that purports to be from OneComm regarding a payment inquiry.
One: We were unable to process your most recent bill payment, it says. Using onedebit.onebermuda.net, update your information to prevent service suspension.
After clicking the link, Mr. Hegde saw that $35,000 had vanished from two of his accounts.
He claimed he is "angry and offended" over how HSBC has handled the problem over the last six weeks.
According to an HSBC representative, the bank strongly advises customers not to click on links included in emails or text messages or enter sensitive information into websites that those connections connect to.
"Sometimes these linked websites are 'false fronts' via which fraudsters acquire information that customers type into what may initially seem to be a real bank website, but upon closer scrutiny, may not be.
"Clients should not reply to texts or emails asking them to send private or confidential information, particularly banking information.
"Even though a request of this kind appears to come from reliable sources that the client is familiar with, it is necessary to exercise caution because sometimes these requests come from dishonest people who want to steal money.
"Our staff members collaborate closely with neighborhood organizations like Age Concern and Action Against Dementia, whose members have access to the bank's fraud prevention advice.
Before making a response to a request of this sort, we firmly advise clients to call 299-5959. A representative from the bank's contact center will be delighted to offer advice on the best course of action.
In Mr. Hegde's instance, HSBC misled him three times into believing the money had been returned to his accounts before telling him the $35,000 had "disappeared" and had been taken out by someone using an account at the US bank Wells Fargo in Phoenix, Arizona.
An officer informed Mr. Hegde that he had twice received the same hoax message after he filed a police report.
According to police, online frauds defrauded islanders of approximately $4 million in 2021.
The Royal Gazette approached Clarien Bank for financial fraud, but they didn't reply.
You can report alleged scams to the police by dialing 211 or sending an email to email@example.com.
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