Attempts to scam immigrants in Israel have reached a new high

The Association of Banks is launching a comprehensive campaign to try to stop attempts to defraud thousands of people every day.

 THE BANK of Israel headquarters in Jerusalem.  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
THE BANK of Israel headquarters in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

In view of the increase in attempts to scam banks' customers, and because there’s an urgent need to increase awareness of financial fraud, The Association of Banks in Israel is launching a comprehensive campaign with a scope of NIS 1 million. 

The program is specifically needed to fight attempts at defrauding customers of Russian origin, which have soared 200% in the past year.

Thousands of new victims of financial scams and cyber fraud are added every day in Israel.

The scam starts with a phone call or message to a mobile phone or an email, in which impostors contact banks and try to steal personal details.

The campaign will focus on raising awareness of financial fraud against the Russian-speaking public in particular, and the elderly population in general.

Increase in fraud

In recent months, banks and the police have identified a significant increase in the volume of fraud committed against new immigrants. 

 The logo of Bank Hapoalim, Israel's biggest bank, is seen at their main branch in Tel Aviv (credit: BANK HAPOALIM) The logo of Bank Hapoalim, Israel's biggest bank, is seen at their main branch in Tel Aviv (credit: BANK HAPOALIM)

There’s also a trend of continuously perfecting new ways to defraud and hurt these customers, especially the elderly. Banks and the police have identified an increase in cases of impersonation of bankers and representatives of the police, usually in the Russian language. 

The crooks use subtle yet sophisticated methods to encourage people to withdraw funds from their accounts and transfer them to accounts abroad.

To counter these attempts, a website was set up as part of the campaign with everything one needs to know about scams and the tools that will help the public to avoid falling into the criminals’ net.

“Fraud is on an alarming upward trend,” said Eitan Madmon, CEO of the Association of Banks. “The banks, together with the police, are improving their defense capabilities. It’s our duty to strengthen awareness, especially among vulnerable populations.”