New BCEL Phishing Scam Threatens WhatsApp Users in Laos

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Lao Media Alerts BCEL Phishing Scam on WhatsApp
Representational image (photo: mashable & bcel.la)

Social media users are being warned about a current phishing scam on WhatsApp. Scammers are pretending to be Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public (BCEL) officials and threatening the individuals’ bank accounts if they refuse to provide personal information.

According to the information provided, the scammers send messages to random WhatsApp users, pretending to be BCEL staff, and claim to have discovered a suspicious transaction on the WhatsApp user’s account. They use this lie to ask for the user’s details, saying they will “fix” the problem.

The message read: “Dear customer, we have noticed a suspicious transaction on your BCEL account, and your account has been temporarily frozen. We would like to kindly request your phone number and account password so that we can investigate the issue. If you do not cooperate, your account will be terminated. Thank you for using our service.”

The fraudster’s message (photo: Laonews.net)

One social media user who fell victim to the scam posted a screenshot from the BCEL app in the comments section, revealing that the fraudster had stolen LAK 7.5 million (USD 443.86) from his bank account.

“Farewell my LAK 7 million. If anyone could help, please reach out to me,” he said in the caption.

Another social media user also shared a screenshot from the application, revealing that he only has LAK 2,000 left on his account.

“The scammer can have all my money for I care,” he joked.

Earlier this month, representatives of TikTok Pte. Ltd visited Laos to promote online safety and appropriate content creation, providing training for Lao officials.