Scam artists: Latest rash of email scams target banking activity
By Peggy Kelly
Published: August 14, 2013
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
Scam artists figure if they throw enough bait out there eventually someone will bite. And if they use an authentic looking communication regarding personal bank accounts that should get plenty of people’s attention, and possibly much more.
Don’t fall for it: the latest rash of email scams is targeting banking activity and using false claims of service interruption to gain information that can be used for identity and real theft. The FBI has issued a warning that realistic looking emails are being sent out by the thousands, regardless of whether or not a person has an account where the scammer claims the email is coming from.
Chase is the latest bank to be targeted by the scam, sent to customers and non-customers alike. The email has the Chase logo and notes “New Message from Online Banking (SM)” and has a flag symbol to convey importance.
The email notes: “We noticed invalid login attempts on your account online from an unrecognized device. Due to this, we have temporarily locked your online session. We need you to verify your information by clicking” on a highlighted button that states Log On, and “simply verify the information you entered is correct.”
The email is signed, “Sincerely, Online Banking Team, Security Alert Service,” and is followed by a warning: “P.S. The link in this message will expire within 24 hours. You have to update your Chase account.” To further appear authentic, at the bottom of the email is stated, “This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.”
The FBI warns never to click on a link that might not only lead you into revealing personal banking information, but could also create an opening for malware or other programs that can either garner your computer’s information and/or infect your computer with a virus. If you receive such a notice from a bank you are a customer of, notify the bank immediately by phone by calling customer service.
Never reply or click through on such emails, no matter how legitimate they seem. If you do you risk losing your money, your identity, and perhaps even all the information in your computer.