France: ‘not very credible’ that Houthis attacked Saudi oil plants

France: ‘not very credible’ that Houthis attacked Saudi oil plants
The Tehran-backed Houthis have claimed the weekend’s strikes on two plants owned by state giant Aramco in eastern Saudi Arabia. (File/AFP)
Updated 19 September 2019

France: ‘not very credible’ that Houthis attacked Saudi oil plants

France: ‘not very credible’ that Houthis attacked Saudi oil plants
  • The Frrench foreign minister said to wait for the results of the investigation
  • Iran, which supports the Houthi group, has denied any involvement in the attacks

PARIS: A claim from Yemen’s Houthis they were responsible for the attack on Saudi oil facilities is “not very credible,” France’s foreign minister said on Thursday.
“Yemen’s rebels have announced they have triggered this attack. That is not very credible, relatively speaking,” the minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, told C News television.
“There is an international investigation, let’s wait for its results. I don’t have a specific opinion before these results,” he said, adding the investigation into the Saudi oil attacks will be fast.
The Trump administration and Saudi Arabia have pointed the finger at Iran for the Sept. 14 raids, which hit the world’s biggest crude oil processing facility and initially knocked out half of Saudi output.
Iran, which supports the Houthi group, has denied any involvement in the attacks.


Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia
Vishing that occurs during a telephone call aims to provoke fear in the victim so that customers will be more susceptible to giving out personal, financial, or security details. (shutterstock)
Updated 18 January 2021

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia
  • The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has warned bank customers, both citizens and expatriates, not to fall victim to financial frauds being perpetrated by scammers

JEDDAH: Fraudsters have developed a new scam, contacting residents in Saudi Arabia and pretending to be bank staffers requesting customer details.
A number of Arab News staff have received such calls in recent weeks. One caller spoke Urdu while two other callers posing as senior officials from the headquarters of the bank spoke in English and Arabic with a local accent.
They used phone numbers that appeared to be local numbers but upon calling back, the lines failed to connect.
The racketeers collect phone numbers of customers and ring them up, saying that their bank account or ATM card requires immediate updating. The scammers use the information provided to gain access to their bank accounts.
Speaking to Arab News, Talat Zaki Hafiz, secretary-general of the Media and Banking Awareness Committee of Saudi banks, said: “Saudi banks represented by the Media and Banking Awareness Committee have repeatedly warned bank customers not to react to stray phone calls of any kind coming from unknown sources that ask to update their banking record or personal information.” He further confirmed that banks do not request such information through phone calls or SMS messages.
Mohammed Khurram Khan, a professor of cybersecurity at the King Saud University in Riyadh, told Arab News: “Phishing, an online scam which targets users through emails where individuals are encouraged to click on a link that takes them to fraudulent sites, was troubling people. Now it’s a different kind of scam known as ‘vishing,’ over-the-phone phishing, where scammers persuade users to share their banking information by impersonating a bank official.”

HIGHLIGHT

The racketeers collect phone numbers of customers and ring them up, saying that their bank account or ATM card requires immediate updating. The scammers use the information provided to gain access to their bank accounts.

Vishing that occurs during a telephone call aims to provoke fear in the victim so that customers will be more susceptible to giving out personal, financial, or security details.
Sharing his experience Zafar Hasan, an e-learning consultant in Riyadh, said: “I received a call from someone on an unknown mobile number who introduced himself as a bank employee and told me that my ATM card was going to be blocked. It required an immediate update so I should give my Iqama number (residence permit number) and sixteen-digit ATM card number. I felt something was fishy, so I told him that I would go personally to the bank to update the card.”
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has warned bank customers, both citizens and expatriates, not to fall victim to financial frauds being perpetrated by scammers.
SAMA called on bank customers to take information only from the official channels of the bodies regulating the Kingdom’s financial and investment sectors and inform the competent security authorities about such fraudulent attempts.