Bogus Letters

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.

Bogus letters purporting to originate from genuine Isle of Man financial institutions.

The Commission has become aware of several recent instances where attempts have been made to
mislead members of the public by sending them bogus letters purporting to originate from genuine
Commission licence holders. The Commission is seriously concerned about this.

Some of the letters seen by the Commission have been reasonably accurate facsimiles of genuine
financial institution correspondence, including address details and even names of genuine staff within
the institution. Fraudsters can obtain such information from within the public domain or by
intercepting genuine correspondence and copying details from it. The fraudsters will simply change
certain details, in order that any reply from the victim goes to them instead of the genuine institution.
They will for instance enter bogus telephone or fax details and ask the victim to contact them by
telephone or fax.

Recent examples seen by the Commission have included false claims that the recipient has had
substantial funds deposited in an account in their name, possibly to promote an Advance Fee Fraud
against the recipient, as well as requests for personal details of the recipient.

Financial institutions go to great lengths to preserve the safety and security of their clients' financial
information. There are, however, steps that you as a customer can take to further minimise the
likelihood of yourself or your accounts becoming involved in attempted fraud.

It will make it harder for the fraudsters to take advantage of you if you always follow these simple
rules (whether dealing with financial institutions on the Isle of Man or elsewhere).

1. Only respond to any requests for personal information, whether written or by telephone, which you
believe the institution should know already, after you have verified the request is genuine as
described below – fraudsters can easily produce letters which appear to be genuine.

These letters will sometimes be accompanied by an official-looking form requesting details of your accounts including account numbers and personal information such as your date of birth, place of work, mothers maiden name etc. and requesting copies of identity documents such as passports or driving licences. Fraudsters are very keen to obtain this information. This could enable them to pass themselves off as you when calling your financial institution. Fraudsters take advantage of the fact that financial institutions often do genuinely require production of identification documents. Ask yourself whether any request to produce such documents makes sense and satisfy yourself that the documents are genuinely going to the institution.

Financial Supervision Commission
P.O. Box 58,
Finch Hill House,
Bucks Road,
Isle of Man,

Fraudsters will frequently ask you to fax back these details to a number that will not be the fax
number of the financial institution. Once you respond to the request the fraudster has your
signature and enough personal details to attempt withdrawing funds from your account.
Do not fax back personal information to an unknown fax number. If you are in any doubt telephone the financial institution, using a telephone number you already know to be genuine, to check that the request and the fax number quoted are genuine.

You should also treat any unexpected telephone calls purporting to come from financial
institutions as being potentially suspicious.

If you are in any doubt, telephone the institution back using a telephone number
that you already hold.

The Commission maintains an online list of all of its licence holders. The list
includes address details together with genuine telephone and fax numbers which
you may use to contact the relevant institution.

The list may be accessed at:

2. You should check the security of your arrangements for receiving and storing mail and think about
what you do with your mail after it is opened.

· Could your bank statement or other documents have been intercepted or opened
before you received it?
· Could a previous statement fall into the wrong hands?
· What do you do with your mail after you have read it? If you throw it away, could a
fraudster obtain personal information from it which would allow him to impersonate
you? Dispose of mail containing personal information securely, preferably by
destroying it.

3. Ask yourself whether it is realistic that a financial institution would open an account in your name,
without your knowledge or that you would suddenly have substantial funds deposited in such an
account in your name.

· The old saying holds true – if it seems too good to be true it probably is.
· Fraudsters make their money by convincing people that the false is real. Are you being
taken in? Can you independently verify the information that you are being given?

ALWAYS REMEMBER if at any time you have a suspicion regarding a request for
information about your financial arrangements or, if you feel that you may have been an
unwitting victim to this type of fraud, you should contact the financial institution, using a
method that you can be sure is genuine, without delay.