This notice is issued by the Financial Supervision Commission (“the Commission”) in accordance with the powers conferred upon it under Section 22 of the Financial Supervision Act 1988.
The Commission has been made aware of a recent incident of attempted “identity theft” involving the customer of a local licenceholder.
Identity theft is the term used in respect of a fraud whereby a criminal obtains personal details of an unwitting victim and then uses these details to either, for example, withdraw funds from an existing bank account in the victim’s name or uses the victim’s personal details to open bank or credit card accounts in the name of the victim and then running up debts.
The recent incident arose as the result of the potential victim receiving a letter purporting to originate from a bank with which they held an account. The letter was accompanied by a questionaire requesting personal details for the purposes of a “tax refund”.
The letter and form appeared to be on bank letterhead, however the potential victim noted that although the address was genuine all other contact details had been excised. The potential victim was instructed to return the form ONLY by way of a fax number listed within the letter and on the head of the questionnaire. The potential victim was able to ascertain that this fax number was NOT a valid number of the bank.
The Commission warns members of the public to be cautious about disclosing personal details in response to unsolicited requests. In particular the Commission would point out that should institutions with which they already have a relationship contact them and request a response only by telephone or fax they should confirm by using a KNOWN contact method for the institution, that the fax number or telephone number quoted is genuine. You should not telephone any numbers contained within the letter to confirm the details as these may well, in reality, connect to a fraudster.
If you suspect that you may be the potential victim of identity theft or attempted identity theft you should not delay in contacting your bank and if necessary your local Police. If you are on the Isle of Man you may contact the Financial Crime Unit by writing to:
The Officer In Charge Isle of Man Constabulary Financial Crime Unit PO Box 51 Douglas Isle of Man IM99 2TD
Or by telephoning: 686000.