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Beware of the banker

Monday, 3 December 2012 | By Taskmaster

taskmasterEarlier today, Old Taskmaster received an email purportedly from one of the big four banks:

 

“Due to your recent account activity, you need to confirm that the last transactions were made by you or another authorized user of the account. You can do this by following the link below and filling the required information.”

 

At first glance, the email looked plausible, with the scammers managing to mask their real email address so it looked like the message was sent by the bank itself. It also featured a version the bank’s logo and its (rather obnoxious) colour scheme.

 

While the email filters on the Taskmaster Enterprises email accounts do a reasonable job at blocking this junk (in fact, more often than not emails go missing because it’s too efficient), this one email appeared plausible enough to slip through.

 

Of course, there are a few little problems with this email. First, Old Taskmaster would prefer the experience of spontaneous human combustion having an account with this particular bank. Secondly, the link pointed to a URL that ended in “.cn” – in other words, the website is located in China.

 

Thirdly, in and of itself a bank asking for personal details it already has is always suspicious – especially given this particular bank’s website (along with most others) expressly says: “Don't respond to any unsolicited email or telephone call requesting your PIN, code or password, even if it appears the email or telephone call comes from us. We'll never ask you to disclose your security details in this way.”

 

In other words, what we have here is a classic “account information” or phishing scam.

 

Being one of the older online scams out there, it’s a little surprising that in 2012 people are still falling for it. Yet the fact that these hucksters still make a living off sending this garbage suggests there are people out there who are still nibbling the bait, despite all the warnings.

 

Which means it’s time to pay the ACCC’s ScamWatch website a visit, if you haven’t already, to familiarise yourself with some of the more common online scams out there. ACMA also has a free email alert they send out when they come across a particularly prevalent new online scam.

 

It is also worth going back and reading this guide on StartupSmart covering 10 ways scammers will try to sink your business and this list of 10 common business scams.

 

Finally, make a point of discussing online scams during the induction process of any accounts or operations staff who have access to your company’s banking details.

 

Get it done – today!