Beware of scammers; think before you click
In the midst of pandemic that the world is facing now, I think the last thing that we would want is to have another challenge trying to steal attention. However, what we want may not alwaysbe the case.
When evil strikes, it does not choose the timing when people are in their challenging moments so it stays away for a while. Evil is most likely to take advantage when you are down to lure you to its bait. This is what these bank scammers are trying to do. They send fake emails to bank clients with the hope that the latter will jump and immediately do as instructed. Not for me.
In just a matter of 26 hours, I got three emails that are purportedly from three different banks. Banks that I have account with. Ssshhh... Just maintaining balances,don't tell anyone.
I did not see the emails as and when each arrived which is good. Seeing them all three at once on the following day made me immediately suspect fraud. It can not be a coincidence that all three banks will email me with their "new requirements." And guess what? All emails are saying that I need to update my mobile phone number which I have already done and been using the number.
All three emails have warnings that my account will be closed or my transactions will not be processed if I do not do what they are asking. If that does not make me naive, I have online access to my accounts so I know that all my transactions went through without issues.
So what are these emails trying to do? Or the scammers who sent them?
In the email is a link which seems to be legit because it is the same as the link of the bank websites. However, the links on the emails are not the correct link.The links look correct because those were masked through what is called domain masking or URL masking.
Domain masking or URL masking is the act of hiding the actual domain name of a website from the URL field of a user's web browser in favor of another name.
Since it is masked, one can think that it is legit and can fall prey to the bait. What happens if a bank client clicks the masked linked? It goes to a fraud website which looks almost the same with the legit website of the bank. It has a form to be filled up and the fields being asked are personal and sensitive pieces of information that are not supposed to be given out to anyone. One example ia when the form asks for your email address. Then the next field is the password to your email address. Aee that? You do not fill up any bank form that asks for password of your email.
Another piece of protected information that scammers try to steal is the card verification value or the CVV code right next to the signature at the back of a debit or credit card. This is a no-no.
I have been receiving scam emails from years ago and I kept wondering how they got my email address. In spite of the countless fraud emails, none has threatened me about closing my account or freezing my transactions until this time. Now scammers are trying to use force. Apparently, desparate monkeys use desperate moves.
Thieves do not just climb houses illegally. They also lurk around the internet. While internet is a vast information highway, it can also be a looting zone. However, that should not make it a scary place to be. Here are few tips to avoid being scammed on the internet.
Keep your password secure. Be cautious and make sure that the websites or application it is intended to be is corret before entering it. Aside from that, have a strong password. Combination of capital letters, small letters, numbers and special characters will a good match.
Have a questioning mind. If you received an email like the ones I shared, ask yourself: does it relate to any of your transactions? For my case, I know the emails do not make sense because I have been receiving SMS messages from banks regarding corona virus and their generosity to extend payment terms to those who has amortization.
If you do not know the sender, it is most probably a scam. Do not open the email or the link inside it. If the recipient is a generic email address and not just you, it is most likely a scam. The last email I sharef is a good example. BPI bank will not send such email to its internal organization through [email protected]
Check your privacy settings on social media. You could be giving your soul to the world with lack of restrictions in your settings.
Stay safe and healthy everyone, not just from corona virus but also from opportunists.