The accused, Justine Claveria steals sensitive personal and bank information from his victims and shares them with fellow criminals for banking scams Philippines. His cellphone gave authorities an idea how he carried out his phishing activities. Numerous spam messages were discovered showing how he and his fellow criminals pretended to be bank representatives requiring sensitive information. But here is the scary part: the emails resembled the REAL bank emails you and I receive regularly. One would need to look very closely to discover an anomaly and most of us aren’t very keen on details.
If you think these scammers target the wealthy, think again. They target the vulnerable and no matter how small your savings may be, they have no shame or guilt in cleaning out your account. So how can you protect yourself from cyber theft?
Think before you click
Cyber thieves often use email for phishing. They may use a trusted company logo like the logo of your bank or some other financial institution and even imitate the format of regular emails banks send out. Some pose as regular bank representatives and tell you to CLICK a link to VERIFY, UPDATE or ACTIVATE your account. In other occassion, they may even use threats like “click here to verify or face charges” in an attempt to illicit immediate action without thinking.
If you get any email claiming to be from your bank especially one that illicit a click or some other form of verification, check and double check the URL of the website.
An official email should look like this:
If there is anything before the https:// or after the .com, something is not right . Also make sure the URL is spelled correctly- all it takes is a single misplaced letter to deceive you into clicking. BDI instead of BPI, and so on.
Grammar is another indicator of a sketchy email. Scammers are not usually grammar experts so if you read an email that has loads of errors, don’t be fooled. Take this as an example:
Also remember that your bank will not ask you for information it already has- things like your address, bank account, and pin number are already in their records. So, anyone asking you to verify such information online with a click is definitely a scammer.
Verify before you reply
Mobile text messages and calls are another common means of getting sensitive information. A recent Facebook post featuring a professed victim of scamming explained how this happened to him. According to him this is what happened: a professed bank representative called him on an “unknown number” asking him to verify some information and text him once he did. This involved divulging some sensitive information and once he shared that, he received an email from his bank saying all his funds were successfully transferred. The meager savings he had, vanished in the middle of a pandemic.
So how can you avoid being such an easy victim? First, check the authenticity of the phone call or text. Official text messages or calls appear with a brand name as the subscriber so if the caller has a weird number or the usual (09..), it is likely fake.
Again, remember that banks will never call or text you to verify banking information and they will never threaten you or push you to do so. If you get such a call, stand your ground and refuse to share any information.
In this time of financial crisis, it is wise to hold on tightly to whatever savings we have left. Remember, nobody is safe-you could be the next victim if you are not careful. Keeping your hard-earned money safe is pretty straight forward if you remember these two tips: think before you click and verify before you reply.
If you are a victim of any cybercrime of banking scams, or know someone who is, report the matter immediately.
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