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Küberturvalisus - 30.07.2020

Fraudulent calls and e-mails - how to avoid scammers?

Fraudulent calls and e-mails - how to avoid scammers? Photo: SEB

This way, cyber-fraudsters attempt to phish Internet Bank passwords from you and steal money from your account before you even realise that you are dealing with fraud. But it is possible to protect yourself from cyber crimes by keeping the following guidelines in mind.

Fraudulent e-mails

At first glance, e-mails sent by fraudsters may be confusingly similar to e-mails sent by the bank. They use the bank’s logo and even the correct font. Criminals assume that people are busy and do not read the e-mails sent to them in detail. You must keep in mind that the bank will never ask you to do the following:

Fraudsters may ask you to download documents attached to the e-mail and immediately submit Internet Bank passwords to check submitted data. In some cases, you are asked to log into your Internet Bank via the link attached to the e-mail. Clicking on it seems to take you to the bank’s website, but actually, you are submitting data to a fraudster.

• Never rush into clicking links in a suspicious e-mail or carrying out any other operations.
• Read the e-mail first and compare the address of the sender with previously received letters.
• Look at the spelling and grammar errors in the letter.
• Usually, you can verify the content of the e-mail. If the information in the letter is correct, you should find the same information on the bank’s website or the Internet Bank.
• If you are asked for passwords, be particularly careful, because a bank will never ask you to disclose confidential information via e-mail.
• If you think that an e-mail is fraudulent, do not reply to it, but forward the e-mail to your bank.
• Regularly update your computer software to avoid malicious e-mails. Do not forget to do the same in your mobile devices.

What to do when you receive a fraudulent text message?

Fraudulent text messages are essentially very similar to fraudulent e-mails. The objective is to get your Internet Bank login details.

Usually, fraudulent text messages ask you to click on a link to check or update your information or to reactivate your account. Fraudsters may also ask you to call a specific phone number. But in both cases, you will fall into a trap – the link will take you to a fraudulent website created to defraud you of your information and to infect you with malware and the person answering the call will be a cyber-fraudster.

How to protect yourself?

• Do not click on links, attachments, or images you have received with a suspicious text message. Make sure that the sender is trustworthy before opening the attachments or links you have received.
• After opening the website, be sure to check the address field of the browser and make sure that it is the official website of the Internet Bank. The systems of the Internet Bank systems always use the secure SSL/TLS communication protocol and so, the address must begin with https. The address of a fake website is almost always without the letter ‘s’ – just http.
• Fraudsters take advantage of you being busy or rushing, so you must take time to study the information.
• If a text message asks for your PIN or Internet Bank passwords, do not reply. Keep in mind that a bank will never ask for such data.
• If you think that you have fallen victim to fraudsters and have sent them your information, notify the bank immediately.

Fraudulent calls from someone who seems to represent the bank

The frauds where con artists attempt to gain monetary information and passwords during calls are the most dangerous. While in the case of e-mails and text messages, you can evaluate their authenticity without rushing, it is not so easy to make sure whether a phone call is fraudulent.

The criminals are well acquainted with human psychology and will try to pressure you. Usually, fraudsters rush their victims stating that the information has to be submitted immediately. It is very important not to be affected by such pressure and to end the call. By ending the call, you are not only avoiding pressure, but this also enables you to check whether the caller is a fraudster.

To check this, call the institution which is supposedly represented by the caller. Ask the company whether that person works for them. Keep in mind that you should not call the company on the phone number provided by the caller, as this information may be fake too. Instead, find the correct phone number of the company online.

Keep in mind that the bank will never ask you to disclose your PINs or other passwords by phone and will never ask you to transfer funds to other accounts.

In all cases, remain vigilant and do not rush, and if you think that someone has attempted to deceive you, let your bank know of the incident.


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