One in every four cyber crime attacks are directed at banks with the aim to steal money from its customers, or to launder criminally-acquired money. Social engineering scams such as phishing and job scamming are typical methods used by fraudsters and cyber criminals that are occuring increasingly on a global scale.
How does job scamming happen?
Using fake job ads, fraudsters ask for personal information from people who believe they are applying for a job at N26 or other companies. According to the German Banking Regulator (BaFin), fraudsters create professional-looking websites modelled after well-known companies that can look deceptively real. On these sites, applicants are asked to participate in an online application process during which applicants are asked to divulge personal data and/or submit photos of their ID card. The data is then used by the fraudsters to open a bank account online under the name of the applicant but with the criminals’ contact details for further processing.
In the next step, applicants will be asked to participate in a bank's video identification procedure. As justification, the applicant is informed that they have to carry out an identity verification check with a "partner bank", since a face-to-face interview is not possible. A different approach promises a job for candidates or offers them to participate in market research where they “test” a bank’s services, like the quality of their video-identification process. Some fraudsters even claim to be the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). Applicants are instructed not to reveal that it is a "test" even at the request of the bank in the identification process, and therefore to lie to the bank. Fraudsters use accounts created in this way for criminal purposes such as marketplace fraud or money laundering.
What does N26 do to help protect against these scams?
Preventing fraud is a challenge for all banks. Please be assured that we care about protecting your identity and our platform against fraudsters.
N26 works closely with the German regulator and complies with both, national and international regulatory requirements under the German Money Laundering Regulations.
When it comes to customer verification during registration, security is the purpose behind the entire process. Therefore, we employ several levels of security. Our in-house customer verification teams are regularly trained to meet the latest standards and are equipped with the know-how to identify and handle identity fraud, document tampering and scam cases.
N26 has developed transaction monitoring methods that make our mobile bank increasingly secure against fraud. This monitoring is constantly being improved by our expert data scientists and fraud prevention units. In addition, we have a specialised team that enforces programs identifying and managing the risks of N26’s products being used to facilitate fraud. This team also analyses each case of fraud individually in order to continually improve our security safeguards.
We work with fully compliant partners who are authorised to conduct verification services, train agents and perform quality control tests on our verification processes. We also work with highly regarded service providers in the financial industry who have set a market standard by working with other banks and regularly collaborate with law enforcement units on fraud.
N26 immediately reports severe suspicious transactions to the German Financial Transaction Investigation Unit (FIU) which then carry out further investigations in cooperation with local law enforcement.
How can you identify scams or fraud?
Cybercrime is something we all must be aware of. Job scams are posted on job forums, job listings, or Mystery shopper recruitment sites that we all use, including social networks. You may also receive fake emails or postal mail from fraudsters acting as a recruiter or market research agency. Job scammers may ask you to confirm your identity or register a bank account with N26 via a video call with us. But there are ways to avoid the scams and be sure the jobs you're interested in are legitimate. You should get suspicious when:
- You are offered a position or job interview without having sent an application.
- You are asked to confirm your identity or register a bank account with N26 via a video call with N26.
- You are asked to wire money or provide information like your account password, credit card number or PIN.
- You are asked for personal information like your social security number, tax number, driver's license number or other unnecessary personal information.
- You are promised very generous pay for not much work or the salary or job details aren't clear.
- You are told to pay for your job training or for a credit report as part of the application process.
- You're asked to cash a check and to transfer some of the money to a third party.
Remember that N26 doesn’t verify anyone’s identity on behalf of job and housing agencies, market research institutes, product testers or credit brokers on external sites. We only verify customers who want to register for an N26 bank account. If you come across a third party who asks you to open an N26 bank account to verify your identity, it is a fraud attempt. Furthermore, there are several things you can do to avoid fraud and keep your personal and financial information safe. Find out more about how you can identify phishing attacks and other fraudulent attempts in our blog post which offers practical guidance on staying safe.
If you think you have fallen for a scam, report it to your local police or prosecutors as soon as possible, and inform us immediately so that your account can be blocked as a preventative measure against further damage.