It’s hard to keep up with all the changing and evolving scams on the web, so we will be regularly researching and posting the most recent scams in our to keep our readers aware of what to look out for. If you would like to be updated as soon as our cyber security post comes out, sign up to our newsletter.

Latest Cyber Security Threats

Bank Smishing Scam:
There have been an increasing number of bank customers targeted through SMS texts. Scammers hijack a legitimate SMS thread from the customers’ bank and send a text warning the customer that their account is in danger and that they must move their money to protect it. The customer is directed to call the number provided in the text and security information is given over the phone which the scammer uses to empty out all available funds, leaving the victim without recourse because the funds were taken through no fault of the bank.

What to know:

  • Texts and emails are not encrypted and can never be a secure option when communicating
  • Always verify any requests over the phone using a trusted number (official website or the back of your bank car.)
  • Think – never do anything rashly, stop and think the situation through before acting

Phishing (via email) Scams:

  • Argos Scam – In the lead up to Christmas, fraudsters have been sending out an official looking Argos email offering a chance to win a £500 prize. The email is laced with malicious hyperlinks which lead to a page in which card details are requested under the pretense that the victim has won the £500 prize which would be transferred to their account, but never arrives. The emails have been sent from several different addresses: kentavious@bate208.fireandfame.com; prince@textto232.concentendeavors.com or sedna@e3da34a06.findgoodtrades.com.
  • TalkTalk Scam – TalkTalk customers have been receiving emails informing them of security maintenance that they have undergone and ask customers to click on a link and sign into their account and input bank information. The scammers used the very convincing email ‘noreply@talktalk.net’.

What to know:

  • As with all emails, proceed with caution, just because something looks legitimate, does not mean that it is
  • Verify everything
  • If in any doubt, don’t click

WhatsApp Scam:
Scammers have hijacked WhatsApp users’ message threads sending Sainsbury’s voucher offers to their contacts. The link downloads spyware onto the victim’s device which tracks and sends personal data about the victim over the internet.

What to know:

  • Even WhatsApp threads are not secure
  • If it’s too good to be true, it probably is – double check everything

Bank Phishing Scam:
Lloyd’s bank customers have been targeted in a clever phishing scheme in which authentic-looking letters have been sent to customers’ home address. The letter asks the customer to call a number to verify suspicious purchases made on their card. When the number is dialed, callers are prompted to input their account number and access codes. The call is then transferred to a call centre, often the bank itself. Using the details provided, money is withdrawn from the victim’s account before the bank or the customer is aware of what happened.

What to know:

  • Verify everything
  • Use a trusted number to contact your bank, i.e. the back of your card

For more information on security or how to improve your network, contact us: info@met-networks.com | 01689 836 223 | met-networks.com

Further Reading:

Why You Should Never Ever Re-use Passwords

What is Phishing, Vishing, SMiShing and Pharming? (Infographic)

What’s Your Weakest Link in Cyber Security? Infographic

5 Must-See TED Talks on Cybersecurity and Hacking