Swedbank Estonia again warns against phone calls by fraudsters

  • 2021-01-06
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Swedbank Estonia on Wednesday informed its clients that phone calls have been made with increasing frequency of late where the call is made seemingly from a phone number of the bank and the caller attempts to get access to the client's account via the online bank.

Among other things, scammers are now offering what they describe as withdrawing from the second pension pillar on favorable terms. 

In such cases, the scammers have asked clients of the bank to prepare the PIN codes of their Smart-ID, Ede Raagmets, head of customer services at Swedbank, said in a press release. She explained that, in fact, such callers want to get access to the client's internet bank.

Raagmets said that in spring of this year, fraudulent calls were common in which the caller attempted to have the client disclose their bankcard information. In the summer and autumn calls were made frequently in which fraudsters presenting themselves as employees of the bank informed the client about alleged suspicious transactions involving their bank account and offered their help for stopping and reversing such transactions. 

"Now the scammers have started to make use of the pension reform," she said.   

Raagmets said Swedbank would like to remind everyone that a phone call from a bank does not always necessarily mean that the caller is a scammer, as employees of the bank actually do make phone calls to clients. One has to stay calm and think logically. 

A bank employee will never hurry a client, will never ask their PIN codes, and will communicate with the person in their native language. Before confirming something with a Mobile-ID or a  Smart-ID, the client must make sure that they understand what action is being performed.

The authentication or digital signing notices received on one's telephone must never be confirmed with a PIN code if the client is not conducting a transaction at that moment. By doing it one may unwittingly confirm a payment, a termination of a time deposit, an application for a small loan or similar initiated by a fraudster who has hacked into their bank account.

Swedbank emphasized that it is important to talk about the importance of cyber security and the threats entailed in phone calls made by scammers also to one's parents, friends and children.