If Your Bank Doesn’t Know Your Name – Maybe That’s A Clue The Email Is Fraud – Huh?

image I can’t imagine receiving an email from my bank that didn’t include my name and other pertinent personal details. After all, how difficult would it be for my bank to personally address an email to me, given the size and complexity of their database?

So receiving an email like the one below, instantly raises my fraud antenna – as I’m sure it does yours. Right?

“Dear Chase member,

You were qualified to participate in $50.00 credit reward surwey. – (When are these people going to learn to spell?)

Just take part in our quick 5 question survey:

http://survey.chase.com.damn3lo.com/chase/survey.htm?id=3852”

Chase Fraud

Who couldn’t use an extra $50 – especially these days, with the economy in the tank? Unfortunately, there is no $50. This email is a phishing attempt.

If you’re unfamiliar with phishing, it is defined as the act of tricking unsuspecting Internet users into revealing sensitive or private information. It relies for its success on the principle that asking a large number of people for this information, will always deceive at least some of those people.

Most of this activity is automated, so phishing is considered an opportunistic attack, rather than the targeting of a specific person. You can relax – they’re not after you personally.

In a phishing attack, the attacker creates a set of circumstances where the potential victims are convinced that they are dealing with an authorized party; in this case, Chase. What makes this particular type of scam so potent is, the average person on receiving an email from an authoritative source, generally lowers their defenses.

Although it may be true that the Internet has the potential for safe, and secure transactions, staying safe online relies on you making good choices and decisions that will help you avoid costly surprises, or carefully crafted scams and phishing schemes such as the one just described.

The type of attack described above, is occurring with such frequency that the IC³ (the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, has called the situation “alarming”, so you need to be extremely vigilant.

Be kind to your friends, relatives, and associates, and let them know that these types of scams are now epidemic on the Internet. In that way, it raises the level of protection for all of us.

Minimum safety precautions you should take:

Don’t click links in emails. If they come from a known source, type them on the browser’s address bar. If they come from an untrusted source, simply ignore them.

Consider every email, telephone call, or text message requesting confirmation of your personal and financial information as a scam.

When contacting your bank; use a telephone number from your statement, a telephone book, or another independent source.

Don’t open emails that come from untrusted sources.

Don’t run files that you receive via email without making sure of their origin.

Keep your computer protected. Install a security solution and keep it up-to-date.

An additional key point offered by my Internet friend Georg L. – Do not use any e-mail client like Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, or others. Instead, rely exclusively on the webmail facility of your service provider, even if this is less comfortable. In this way, e-mail cannot be misused as a vector for malware, because nothing is downloaded to your computer in the first place. By going without an e-mail client, you also save computer resources.

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14 Comments

Filed under cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Email, email scams, Internet Safety, internet scams, Phishing

14 responses to “If Your Bank Doesn’t Know Your Name – Maybe That’s A Clue The Email Is Fraud – Huh?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention If Your Bank Doesn’t Know Your Name – Maybe That’s A Clue The Email Is Fraud – Huh? « Bill Mullins' Weblog – Tech Thoughts -- Topsy.com

  2. Bill,

    As always, super article! To the everyday home computer user, these types of emails (that are fraudulent) can look quite convincing.

    Rick

    • Hey Rick,

      “To the everyday home computer user, these types of emails (that are fraudulent) can look quite convincing.” – absolutely! And, it’s getting increasingly harder to tell, even for experienced users.

      BTW, I saw on the News this morning, that you folks were shaking, rattling and rolling, earthquake style, overnight. I trust all is well.

      Bill

  3. Bill,
    Sound advice, as usual. Thanks for caring enough to share this bit of today’s Internet cybercrime reality.
    Best,
    Paul

  4. Siam

    Sad that such an article has to be written, really. But unfortunately there will always be people who fall prey to such scams. Hence why they proliferate. Thanks Bill.

    • Hi Siam,

      It’s sad really, just how many people are victimized by this type of crime. Educating users, is just one small step in helping to reduce the impact of fraud..

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bill

  5. Liam O' Moulain

    Thanks Bill.

    I think we all need to be reminded of these frauds from time to time.

    Liam

  6. John Bent

    Hi Bill

    These do seem to be on the increase. Whenever I get one I forward it to the bank in question’s security department. They all give dedicated email addresses on their websites, usually in the “security” or “contact us” sections.

    Don’t know if they get followed up but at least I feel I’m doing something.

    Kine regards

    John

  7. John Bent

    PS

    Sorry about the typo – pobody’s nerfect!

    Kind regards

    John

    • Hi John,

      LOL – thanks for that, I needed a good laugh just then.

      On the other – I’m glad you brought that up . Next time I do one of these I’ll add that in as a recommendation. I’m sure financial institutions would be very grateful, if more people did as you do. And yes, you are making a difference.

      Best,

      Bill

  8. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    I actually know people who do online banking without any security on their computer whatsoever. I’ve tried to point out the dangers to them, but its the old”it won’t happen to me” attitude with them. But it WILL happen to them and it will be their own fault.

    Excellent article, as always.

    Cheers

    • Hey Mal,

      The cyber world is just full of victims “in waiting”. So, you’re right “… it WILL happen to them and it will be their own fault.” Gambling in this way is senseless. Since this is a “G” rated site, I can’t say what I really want to say about people like this. 🙂

      Best,

      Bill