Mexican non-bank lenders hit by phishing attacks

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Mexico's Asofom – which represents Sofomes, a specialized class of non-bank credit providers – has detected cases of phishing-type cyberattacks on 10-12 of its members this year.

The association added that before this year it had only seen 20 cases of the crime hitting its members in its more than 10 years of existence.

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Asofom president Adolfo González Olhovich, speaking to local paper El Economista, said its 171 members are facing a particular threat from cybercrime as they are outside the strict regulatory regime applied to major commercial banks.

To avoid being defrauded, the Asofom head suggested clients always check with financial consumer protection agency Condusef that emails that appear to be from Sofomes are genuine.

"The reputation of the institution, not only the economic resources, is very affected by this type of crime. This has already happened to all financial institutions, and now it is happening with us," González said.

CYBERSECURITY COMMITTEE

In order to combat this type of cybercrime, Asofom has created a security committee that adds to other efforts that include a guide on identity theft.

"We must have protocols for each of the cybercrimes that can be committed," González said.

The group has been taking steps to coordinate efforts with financial authorities. He said the association signed an agreement with Condusef in April, building on agreements with the finance ministry and bank regulator CNBV last November regarding the identity theft of intermediaries.

"The most important agreement we have signed is with the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI), a global association that in Mexico has a very large, but very effective chapter," said the Asofom president.