Recent emails purporting to be from Cayman National Bank or CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank are part of a phishing scam, asking individuals to click on a link in an attempt to acquire personal information.
The emails, which include digitally imitated logos of the banks, request users to click on a link to update their accounts. They include the “warning” that “any account owner that refuses to update their account after receiving this email will lose their account permanently.”
Individuals who receive these emails should not click on the link and should report the emails to the banks immediately, authorities said.
Raymond Christian with the Financial Crime Unit of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said the banks have been made aware of the phishing scams, and that police are investigating.
One of the fake emails reads: “As part of our security measures, we regularly update all accounts on our database system. We are unable to update your FirstCaribbean Bank account and therefore will be closing your accounts to enable the upgrade.
“You have been sent this invitation because our records indicate you are currently a user whose account has not been activated. We are therefore sending you this mail so you can inform us if you still want to use this account.”
In some cases, individuals who are not account holders with the banks received these emails.
Both banks have statements on their websites warning against such scams.
On the main page of its online banking site, CIBC FirstCaribbean notes to customers that it “never emails them to verify confidential information online.”
The bank also has a fraudulent email and phishing email warning, and asks customers who think they have been targeted by phishing to contact the bank.
“We would wish to inform customers that when they receive any info by email like that they should immediately view it with suspicion,” said Debra King, director of corporate communications for CIBC FirstCaribbean. “We do not ever ask customers to click through and provide any personal account information.”
Ms. King said that such phishing scams come up from “time to time” and as soon as the bank is made aware of such scams, it begins investigating and attempts to put a stop to them.
“It’s something that we have to be eternally vigilant about,” Ms. King said.
Under the “Privacy and Security” section of its website, CIBC FirstCaribbean has a page for Online Fraud Reporting and Alerts where it posts examples of recent email scams.
Cayman National also has a notice about phishing and email scams on its website.
“All Internet users, especially online banking and credit card customers need to be aware of phishing emails … sent by malicious users attempting to gain access to private financial information,” the site states.
Cayman National also tells site visitors that the bank will “never ask you to verify or update your account information.”
The notice advises customers to input information only to the official Cayman National website, but cautions that many phishing scams use websites that closely resemble the real websites, so it is always advisable to check the address in the browser to ensure it is the real site.
Representatives for Cayman National said they are aware of the emails but were unable to comment further on the matter.