A file photo of Banque Misr in Cairo (Photo: Ahram Arabic)
State-owned bank Banque Misr has halted electronic transactions from bank accounts to prepaid Meeza cards after phishing cases have been reported, Chairman of Banque Misr Mohamed El-Etreby announced on Sunday.
On Sunday, videos and posts on social media have alleged that fraudsters claiming to be Banque Misr employees have been calling a number of bank clients and asking them for personal information.
The victims said large sums of money have been withdrawn from their accounts without their knowledge.
One woman from Minya appeared in such a video, saying she had only revealed a four-digit confirmation code to the caller before EGP 200,000 were withdrawn from her account.
Meeza cards, founded in 2019, are the country’s first local prepaid cards that are easily recharged and used through an ATM machine. Many banks, including Banque Misr, are taking part in the system.
The government is currently in the process of gradually replacing state employees’ payroll cards with Meeza cards.
The bank issued a warning statement against the defrauding of its customers, announcing that they were opening an investigation. It condemned the scams against customers, affirming its full responsibility for the money of the depositors.
As of now, there has been 13 cases of fraud reported, with over EGP 2.7 million stolen, El-Etreby told Ala Masoliety TV programme on Saturday.
He denied the allegations that the bank accounts have been hacked, urging citizens to not reveal any personal information to anyone, even customer service agents.
In remarks to Masrawy newspaper, El-Etreby said the halt is a preventative measure due to the difficulty of tracking account-to-card transactions.
El-Etreby suggested that an organised gang may be responsible for the fraud and that he expects they will be arrested within days.
A security source revealed to Sky News the formation of a security team “of the highest level,” to track down the perpetrators.