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Account Takeovers occur when criminals gain control of bank account(s) by stealing the victim’s online banking credentials. Although there are several methods of stealing credentials, the most common involves malware that has infected a computer.
Once credentials are stolen, accounts are accessed online and unauthorized transactions may result. To reduce your risk, follow these tips:
Email Account Takeover
Every day thousands of people are victims of “Email Account Takeover” through their personal web based email accounts. Criminals then send messages from that e-mail with links or attachments that contain malware which may lead to an account takeover.
A prevalent scam involves the attacker using the victim’s email account to send messages to their bank or other financial institution. These messages usually indicate that the victim urgently needs account balances, and then may request to transfer money from legitimate accounts. The criminal assumes the identity of the e-mail account holder and states that a serious and/or urgent issue has occurred and has prevented the victim from using their normal bank process to transfer money.
Conversely, Emails may be “spoofed” or sent from email accounts that were taken over by scammers. They might send links for you to click on, spam for you to read, or pretend to be a person in need. Be wary if something seems out of character with the sender. When in doubt, call the sender to confirm what was sent.
To prevent this from happening to you, follow these tips:
There are many variations on the fake check scam. It could be a Secret Shopper "Job Offer", someone buying something advertised, paying you for work, a sweepstakes you supposedly won, etc. Scammers hunt for victims and then send fake checks that draw money from an account that doesn’t belong to them or doesn't exist.
To avoid becoming a victim, follow these tips:
Scammers can easily “set up shop” on the Internet with little effort. Purchasing from disreputable sources can cause credit card theft, delivery of sub-par goods, or simply defraud you by not shipping purchases.
You can avoid trouble by following these tips:
Generally described as malicious software, Malware includes several different computer threats such as viruses, spyware, or trojans, and is mainly engineered to steal personal information or gain access and/or use of your system.
There are a number of ways that malware can be brought to the computer, but the most common ways are through email and webpages. Simply surfing the web to a page that hosts malware can cause problems as well. This can capture what you type, screenshot your computers activities, and even control your computer without your knowledge.
“Banking Trojans” can stay silent and then selectively activate when online banking services are used. They can change how certain websites look and add screens that look as if the website is requesting personal information to validate you, impersonate a warning about the site being “unavailable”, or even direct you to a completely different site.
To prevent this from happening to you, follow these tips:
Mobile devices are essentially powerful computers with a small screen, which need the same precautions as regular computers. Follow these tips to help protect yourself:
Online Romance Scams
After a period of time spent on online dating sites building a connection with a new found “friend”, they may ask you for money. In addition to losing money, you may unknowingly find yourself taking part in a money laundering scheme by cashing phony checks and sending the money overseas.
Your new found “friend” may only be interested in your money if he or she:
Fraudulent attempt to obtain account information done via email. The email directs customers to click on a web line and tries to trick them into submitting login credentials or other personal information to scammers.
Phishing may have the following hallmarks:
Scammers use text messages to defraud or steal personal information. This issue can appear to be very generic and indicates trouble with your account, requesting you to call a number or open a link. Don’t respond if you get a message that asks you to call a phone number to update your account or give personal information. If in doubt, contact your bank. Report fraud attempts to your cellular communications provider and local law enforcement.
Social Engineering Scams
Can take many forms, phone calls, email, paper, even face to face and may include a cleverly worded email that piggybacks on newsworthy events, or web links that pretend to be charities after major disasters.
General term for unwanted “junk” email. Links or attachments within spam can deliver malware, phishing or other threats.
Many, if not most, instances of fraud involve spoofing, which intends to show you one thing while giving you another and can take the form of web links in email. What is displayed (bank website) can actually be another thing (scammers website). Can also be done with phone calls.
Scammers use voice phone call to defraud and steal personal information. This issue can appear to be very generic and indicates trouble with your account, requesting you to call a number or open a link.
Computer Physical Safety
You could be at risk if you give away old computers without completely wiping the old system’s internal storage. Remove the old hard drive and keep it. Encryption products can protect your information, making the data useless if it leaves your control.
Watches out for outside attempts to access your system and blocks communication to and from sources you don’t permit. Can be hardware or software, may require you to configure them.
When one’s identification (name, social security number, account number, etc.) is used or transferred by another person for unlawful activities.
You can improve your credit profile with five simple steps:
A way of keeping software up to date and safe. Software makers will release software updates from time to time to correct security issues, improve performance, or add new features.
Online banking security features that provide you with an extra layer of security to help protect you against identity theft and fraud. Essential to ensure banks can validate your identity under certain circumstances. Answers should be unique, yet memorable for you.
Essential step in protecting your computer from harm such as spyware, viruses, trojans, and other malicious software (malware).
UserID and Password