Tag Archives: Scams

Happy holidays, scam spotters!

Businesses are often sent fake invoices and waybills which install ransomware. Teach staff to avoid these. If questionable, ask your IT dept to look at it. E-cards have been a target in the past and may be used again in holiday-themed attacked.

The post Happy holidays, scam spotters! appeared first on WeLiveSecurity

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SMS Scams and Smartphone Malware

Smartphones have become a crucial part of our everyday lives; we shop, bank and network using our phones. But with so much valuable personal data being stored on these devices, they have become a top target for cyber criminals. If they can crack our phones, they can steal our identities, blackmail us for cash, or empty our bank accounts using scams.

As a result, hackers have been developing new ways to attack – the latest using SMS text messages.

Introducing “smishing”

For some years now hackers have used a technique known as phishing – emails pretending to be from our bank that try and trick us into handing over our account details. As people have got better at spotting phishing emails, less are falling victim, which means that hackers have changed their tactics, focusing on our phones.

Smishing is very similar conceptually; instead of sending emails however, the attackers are sending SMS text messages to their victims. Each of these texts is designed to trick people into handing over sensitive personal information – like their online banking PIN number. Others will encourage them to access a fake website, or to download an app that has been infected with malware.

How to spot a smishing message

Almost every smishing message has one thing in common – a sense of urgency. You will be told that your bank account has been compromised, and you must login using the supplied link immediately. Or that a routine security check has temporarily blocked access to your account, before asking you to confirm you password to restore access. You may even be asked to download a special app to improve the security of your account, the sooner the better.

The truth is that no bank sends urgent SMS messages; most actually rely on letters and secure emails to communicate important information. If you do receive a text message from your bank, it will never include a link – you will simply be directed to logon to the website at your earliest convenience, or to call their phone banking service.

Similarly, your bank will never send you a link to a website to download a new app. They may direct you to the official App Store or Google Play store, but most will send a push notification through their official app, rather than via SMS text message.

If you are in any doubt at all about a text message you receive, delete it. If the matter is truly urgent, your bank will contact you again. You can also give them a call to confirm whether there really is a problem.

Get protected

Finally, you should always protect your smartphone with a reputable anti-malware app. In the event that you are tricked into downloading a malicious app, the anti-malware tool will conduct a scan automatically, and advise you that there is a problem before any of your personal data is stolen.

You can even protect yourself against smishing scams right now by downloading a free trial of Panda Mobile Security.

The post SMS Scams and Smartphone Malware appeared first on Panda Security Mediacenter.

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3 Nigerian Scammers Get 235-Years of Total Jail Sentence in U.S.

nigerian-scam

You may have heard of hilarious Nigerian scams. My all time favourite is this one:

A Nigerian astronaut has been trapped in space for the past 25 years and needs $3 million to get back to Earth, Can you help?

Moreover, Nigerians are also good at promising true love and happiness.

But You know, Love hurts.

Those looking for true love and happiness lost tens of millions of dollars over the Nigerian dating and romance scams.

These criminals spend their whole day trolling the online dating sites for contact emails and then send off hundreds of thousands of fraudulent emails awaiting the victim’s response.

A US federal district court in Mississippi has sentenced such three Nigerian scammers to a collective 235 years in prison for their roles in a large-scale international fraud network that duped people out of tens of millions of dollars.

The three Nigerian nationals were part of a 21-member gang of cyber criminals, of which six, including Ayelotan, Raheem, and Mewase, were extradited from South Africa to the Southern District of Mississippi in July 2015 to face charges in the case.

  • Oladimeji Seun Ayelotan, 30, faces up to 95 years in prison
  • Rasaq Aderoju Raheem, 31, faces up to 115 years in prison
  • Femi Alexander Mewase, 45, faces up to 25 years in prison

A federal jury found all of them guilty of offenses involving mail fraud, wire fraud, credit card fraud, identity theft, and theft of government property, the US Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Also, Ayelotan and Raheem were found guilty of conspiracies to commit bank fraud and money laundering, which is why they have been given longer prison sentences.

Until now, the justice department has charged a total of 21 suspects in this case: 12 defendants have already pleaded guilty to charges related to the conspiracy while 11 have been sentenced to date.

The gang has been operating since 2001 and ran a variety of online scams, including romance scams, where the criminals used the false identity of love-struck girlfriends on a dating site to establish a romantic relationship with unsuspecting victims.

Once the gang members gained the victim’s trust and affection, they would convince them to carry out their money laundering schemes and launder money from other rackets via MoneyGrams and Western Union, or resend electronics and other goods bought with stolen credit cards to countries where they could be sold for a profit.

The gang members were arrested by South African police in a joint operation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in December 2015.

However, Nigerian scams will never die, and you could be their next victim.

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