06 Nov Risks To Finances Online
According to Australian bank communications I’ve received recently there’s been an increasing trend of fraudulent email applications for fund withdrawals on behalf of individuals and businesses.
These requests are happening when email accounts have been compromised on the user’s computer.
Email accounts can often hold significant amounts of information which will be falsely used by cyber-criminals to try and impersonate the victim.
The ease at which someone can get access to your computer and your finances means people have to remain vigilant online.
Clicking the wrong thing can mean activating malware that gives control of your computer to malicious forces.
Add a moment of inattention on the phone and it can turn very damaging.
James, a client, contacted us with a warning of how quickly he was duped when his bigpond usage spiked and he received a phone call from Telstra advising they could fix it up.
“Alan from Telstra” provided James a reference number, which added some legitimacy, before asking for $5.99 to fix the problem.
This should have been a red flag, but James authorised his account to be debited and that $5.99 quickly turned into $270 when James’ wife checked the transaction on their iPad.
James, still on the phone at his laptop, questioned the transaction and was laughed at; the caller had control of his computer and started deleting files before his eyes.
At the same time, there was another transaction attempt for a large sum of money to an account in India, sharing the same family name as James, luckily that transaction failed.
James’ computer was then nuked as the caller taunted him.
While his accounts have been changed and cards cancelled and reissued, James doesn’t know if any files were taken from his computer.
This is just another reminder that your bank and credit card details are to be treated like gold – never give them out over the phone when someone calls you.
And if you conduct any financial transactions online and notice any suspicious activity on your computer, disconnect it from the internet immediately.