The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) wishes to alert members of the public in Hong Kong to suspected fraudulent e-mails purporting to be issued by Citizens Bank. Reports have been made to the HKMA recently by members of the public who have received these e-mails that requested the recipients to click on a hyperlink to verify their account information. It is believed that the e-mails may be used to attempt to trick the recipients into revealing sensitive bank account information.
We understand that Citizens Bank is a bank in the US. It has no branch or office established in Hong Kong. The HKMA has confirmed with the relevant authority in the US that the aforesaid e-mails are not issued by Citizens Bank and the bank is investigating the case.
The HKMA would like to remind the public that it is not usual for banks to request their customers to disclose their sensitive account information (such as PIN numbers and passwords for Internet banking accounts) through e-mails. If members of the public receive such a request, they should contact their banks immediately. The public is also advised not to access their Internet banking accounts through hyperlinks embedded in e-mails or Internet search engines. They should access their Internet banking accounts by keying in the website addresses at the address bar of the browser, or by bookmarking the genuine website and use that function to access their Internet banking accounts.
For further security tips on Internet banking, reference may be made to the revised leaflet "Internet banking - keeping your money safe" produced jointly by the HKMA and the Hong Kong Association of Banks which is available on the HKMA website at http://www.hkma.gov.hk.
For further enquiries, please contact:
Jasmin Fung, Manager (Press), at 2878 8246 or
Kevin Ip, Manager (Press), at 2878 1687
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
20 September 2004