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Warning to the public with regard to fraud by impersonating the Bank of Israel or commercial banks

Warning to the public with regard to fraud by impersonating the Bank of Israel or commercial banks

The Banking Supervision Department wishes to bring to the public’s attention that criminal elements are trying to conduct fraudulent activity with the aim of misappropriating funds from customers by impersonating representatives of banks, credit card companies, the Bank of Israel, and the Israel Police among others.  These elements sometimes send fictitious certificates attesting to their false identities, such as a police badge or a letter purporting to be from the Bank of Israel.


These fraud attempts include contacting customers of the banking system, through a variety of communications channels such as phone calls, SMS, and email.  Notices are sent from an address that appears to belong to the entity being impersonated, such as the bank.  The attempts make use of fake email addresses or phone numbers disguised as belonging to the bank or to the Bank of Israel.  Occasionally, the notices include a link to a fake website.


Once contact is made with the account holder, the criminal element asks the account holder to provide personal details or financial information that makes it possible to withdraw money from the account.  The requested information may include: personal details, account details, credit card details, or a code that the account holder or credit card holder receives on his or her cellphone.


The criminal elements sometimes request such information while making threats or engaging in fear tactics and pressure, sometimes claiming that the information is necessary in order to protect the account from criminal activity or to deal with some apparent technical problem that has taken place in the bank’s or credit card company’s servers.  Another strategy that is sometimes used is a promise to receive money, win a lottery, or make an attractive investment, which require connection to the customer’s account.


The public is requested to remain on heightened alert and to avoid providing any personal or confidential information.  We emphasize that the Bank of Israel, the commercial banks, and the credit card companies will never contact individuals with a request to provide personal details, confidential information, or financial information that include verification and identification sent to the customer, such as an SMS that includes a personal code.


If you are concerned that you may have fallen victim to such fraud, we recommend that you contact the bank’s security office or ombudsman as soon as possible.  If you do not receive a response, or if the response you receive is not to your satisfaction, you may contact the Banking Supervision Department with a complaint about the matter.

Recommendations to secure your bank account:

  • Provide identification details only after hanging up and calling the banking corporation’s call center, using a number that you find on your own on the bank’s website.
  • Do not connect to your bank account from an SMS or email that you receive.
  • Check the address of the website to which you are connecting. Make sure that it is spelled properly, particularly when you are connecting through a link found in a search engine.
  • Do not provide credit card details or an identification code that is sent to you through a link that you receive by SMS or email in order to complete details. No bank or credit card company will request such a code during a phone conversation that the customer did not initiate.
  • - Are you concerned that you accidentally provided details to a criminal element? Contact the bank immediately and report it.
  • Periodically review the transactions in your account in order to find suspicious transactions or mismatches.
  • If you have a doubt, there is no doubt. It is best not to answer any SMS or call or click on any link before checking with the bank or the relevant company.
  • Links to the warning in other languages:
This page was last updated on: 18/12/2023