Friday, June 4, 2010

Recent Internet and Bank Scams - Fraud Phishling

Nigerian Purchase Scam

The Nigerian Purchase Scam is a new form of fraud taking victims in the online space. This is becoming widespread in auction sites and on business’ ecommerce websites. A buyer will bid on or seek to purchase big-ticket goods (e.g., cars, boats, etc.) from the website. They will pay by forged cashier’s check and ask the seller to ship the product overseas. The buyer will “accidentally” overpay the seller, stating “they wanted to make sure there were enough funds for shipping”. The buyer will then ask the seller to deposit the check and refund the amount of the overpayment. The seller will deposit the counterfeit cashier’s check and send the overpayment to the buyer prior to the check clearing through the international banking system. The seller is out the funds equal to the overpayment. In addition, the seller could be down the value of the shipped goods if those are sent at the same time.

To protect yourself, always be careful when transacting with unknown parties. If you question the legitimacy of a buyer, talk with your Branch Manager to determine the best way to validate the check and funds prior to shipping any goods or providing a refund for the overpayment.

Lottery Scams

Lottery scam e-mails are increasing at an alarming rate. They are an extension of the Nigerian 419 advance fee scams that have existed for years. In the lottery scam, an unsuspecting consumer receives an e-mail claiming that they have won an international lottery. In order to claim their winnings, the recipient must contact the claims agent, typically at a free e-mail address. The agent then sends the recipient a claim form by which to verify their identity. The consumer must return the form with their personal details, along with copies of their passport and driver’s license to “verify their true identity.” This is where the scam begins. The fraudsters now have enough information to duplicate the consumer’s identity. In addition, in order to claim the winnings, the victim is required to wire funds to the fraudsters, to cover the transaction, insurance, tax and legal fees associated with receiving their winnings. Victims transfer the money as requested via Western Union. The victim is now out the funds that they have wired to the fraudsters.

Be Aware of New Phone “Vishing” Schemes
Recent attempts to get personal information over the phone from customers of other financial institutions. Phone “Phishing” (using Voice over Internet Protocol technology or VoIP) is known as “Vishing”, a phone calling technique that is used to gain personal information for the purpose of identity theft.
A vishing scheme recently surfaced in December 2009. Customers from several financial institutions located in Georgia, Iowa and Indiana received calls made by an overseas scam artist giving these individuals the impression that their debit, credit and even bank accounts were being cancelled or restricted. In order to lift these restrictions, the individuals were given a “1-888” number to call. Through the use of “caller ID spoofing”, the scam artists were even able to display a legitimate business phone number, providing the unsuspecting individuals with a false sense of security.
Customers who called with their card number and PIN information enabled the perpetrators to access their funds by computer resulting in a loss of account balances and potential credit issues. After learning of the reported fraud, The Federal Trade Commission took over the “1-888” number and placed its own recorded message to alert potential victims.
•Unless you initiated the contact, Banks will NOT request your personal information (such as account or debit card numbers, social security number or mother’s maiden name) through email, U.S. Mail or by phone.

•NEVER give out your personal information in response to an unsolicited email or phone call.

If you believe you may be a target or victim of a Vishing or other scam related to your accounts, please notify your bank immediately.

Phishing is a technique used to gain personal information for the purposes of Identity Theft, using fraudulent email messages, phone messages, and instant messages that appear to come from their financial institution or legitimate businesses. These messages can look and sound authentic. They may also contain authentic logos and taglines designed to fool recipients into providing personal data such as account numbers, credit card numbers, and social security numbers.
Most often the message will state that the recipient’s attention is needed immediately and provides a link to click on to verify their personal information. If these thieves obtain enough personal data, they can make purchases on another person’s credit card or even steal that person’s identity.

Bank will never send you an e-mail requesting personal information, such as your Social Security number, Check Card or ATM Card number or PIN.
If you have received a suspicious e-mail, you can forward it to phishing@???.com

Tips to Protect Yourself from Phishing Scams:
•Never respond to any messages requesting personal financial information

•Never click on Hyperlinks within emails if you believe it may be fraudulent; the hyperlink may contain a virus

•Use SPAM Filter Software

•Use Anti-Virus Software

•Use a Personal Firewall

•Keep Software Updated (operating systems and web browsers)

•Always look for "https://" and padlock on legitimate web sites that require the input of personal information

•Keep your computer clean from Spywar

•Educate yourself of fraudulent activity on the Internet

•Check & monitor your credit report regularly

•Seek advice if you are unsure about phishing. You can ask expert from Fraud Watch International at

•Do not be intimidated by emails that threaten termination of service if you do not follow the instructions contained in the email

•Delete emails before opening them if you receive an email from anyone that you do not recognize

If you believe the email you received is fraudulent, and that you may be a target or victim of a phishing or other scam related to your bank accounts, please notify your bank immediately.

You may also report fraudulent emails to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT.

For more information on Phishing and how to protect yourself, visit:

Fraud Watch International

OnGuard Online

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Complied from information I received from a banking source.

No comments:

Post a Comment