The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), the nation’s financial watchdog, has warned that it was made aware of a website using the same layout and contents of the MFSA’s, purporting to be the Netherlands Financial Services Authority (NFSA), “in an effort to deceive the public”.
The MFSA said that the website is currently offline, and stressed that it has no association with the NFSA.
“The MFSA hereby alerts the general public to never provide any sensitive and confidential information over social media, email or other means to unknown individuals. It should also be noted that the Authority communicates with the public only through its official channels. The public should be extra cautious when being approached via unconventional channels such as telephone calls, emails or social media.”
Last year, Malta was rocked by a wave of online scams, from text messages purporting to come from the Central Bank to say an individual has been flagged for suspicious activity, to phishing attempts on companies pretending to be a particular supplier and seeking payment.
In an interview with Police Inspector Timothy Zammit last July, who chairs the EU’s Cyber Crime Taskforce, he had said the best advice given to companies and individuals to avoid being scammed is to stop, and calmly go about their business online. Inspector Zammit said scammers often exploit people’s lack of attention by creating a sense of urgency, which impairs critical thinking and detail observation.
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