2021 can be characterised as the year of fraud in Malta, with a plethora of reports surfacing about online fraud, large and small.
In view of this, HSBC Malta and the HSBC Malta Foundation have teamed up with ĠEMMA to publish the fifth issue of the Little Black Book of Scams and Fraud. The booklet is designed to help people identify attempted online scams and teaches them techniques to protect themselves from fraud.
In this issue, HSBC Malta and ĠEMMA present twelve cases of scams and fraud as short stories. These are based on real-life events that financial institutions have encountered in Malta. The cases in the book elaborate on the breadth, scope and sophistication of fraud experienced in Malta via topics such as mule entrapment, elderly financial abuse, fraudulent UK car imports and fake online bargains.
Mark Drago, Head of Financial Crime Compliance at HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c., said: “Scams have been in the headlines so much in the past year that one would say 2021 has been the year of fraud. Scammers have become ubiquitous in the online world and harder to spot due to their sophisticated tools and approaches. HSBC Bank Malta is glad to have collaborated with ĠEMMA on the 5th issue of the Little Black Book of Scams and Fraud, as it is in line with our commitment to educate the community on the best ways to protect their financial interests online.”
David Spiteri Gingell, ĠEMMA Team Leader at the Ministry for Social Justice and Solidary, the Family and Children’s Rights, said: "As people have increasingly moved to the online world during the worst days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the range of scams has expanded. Additionally, recently, we have seen customs related fraud, as Brexit and the United Kingdom's treatment as a third country created a new opportunity. We would like to thank HSBC Malta for helping to turn their expertise into a booklet that will help educate people on the risks of fraud and what they can do to protect themselves."
HSBC Bank Malta has also curated a regularly updated online Fraud Guide on its website where people can learn about the most common scam types and precautionary measures to protect themselves from both online and offline fraud. The website is available here.
ĠEMMA launched the Little Black Book of Scams and Fraud in 2020 with the intention of educating the general public on emerging scams, simple but effective protection measures that a person can take against fraud, as well as on actions to take in case someone falls victim to fraud. The most recent booklet by HSBC Malta, as well as all the other editions, can be downloaded from ĠEMMA’s official website gemma.gov.mt under the ebooks section.