Fraudsters use a variety methods to steal money. These include phishing, the Monzo scam text and SIM jacking as well as password-testing software.
Often the fraudsters will create a sense of urgency in their communications. They may threaten job loss, prison time or other dire consequences unless the money is transferred right away.
1. Email Scams
Email scams that trick victims into sending money to criminals is a common threat. They may appear to be from your bank or another organization with whom you have done business, and they will urge you to act urgently. They often contain misspellings and symbols that are intended to fool spam filters. They can also include a request to forward the message or an attachment that contains a malicious software file.
The best way to prevent phishing is to never click on links in emails from organisations you don’t recognise, even if they have your name in the To: line. Be cautious about emails that ask for confirmation of personal information or passwords. Legitimate companies would not do this. You should also use two-factor verification on your email account and banking account, and never disable it.
One of the most successful and biggest email scams is ‘419’ Nigerian letters, where criminals require advance fees in exchange for a promised amount of cash. Criminals can use this money to fund terrorism or other crimes. This scam is estimated to cost businesses over $26 billion. A phishing attack called whaling is targeted at senior executives. This involves deploying AI in order to learn employee’s inboxes and detect any changes that could indicate they are being targeted.
The “fake-supplier fraud” is a popular scam used by criminals in order to obtain the bank account information of victims. These scams typically involve fraudsters sending fraudulent cheques or money orders that are larger than the amount owed. This means that the company owes a return fee to the bank and may be out the product or service they provided.
2. Phone Scams
Scam artists have many different ways of stealing money and personal information from people, companies and government agencies. They may pretend to be your bank or another legitimate organization and call or text you. They may ask that you provide sensitive information like account numbers, passwords, or other identifying information to verify an incoming payment. They may ask you to send them money or other valuables, for various reasons. For example, to cover the fees associated with large transfers. Oftentimes, these requests come with a sense of urgency, as they are typically related to a pressing matter or an emergency.
Criminals can use phone scams as a way to trick people into transferring funds from their own bank accounts to a fraudulent account. These calls are accompanied with fake numbers and CallerID spoofing, making the number appear as a trusted organisation. The victim is then asked to transfer money out of their account and into a “safe” bank account or a different one that they claim was compromised.
Another type of phone scam involves fraudsters calling companies to claim that they are the real supplier of an item or service. The fraudsters trick the company into transferring funds to a new supplier’s account, which they control. This can cause huge financial damage to the victims.
Scammers can also use a spoof of a trusted organization’s name in order to get victims click on a hyperlink in a text. They then phish to get sensitive information, such as passwords or banking details. The criminals can steal this information and use it to gain access to your accounts or perform unauthorized transactions. Consumers who fall for these scams should immediately contact their bank and file a report with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
3. Online Scams
This is not the only scam criminals use to steal money. This type of crime has increased in recent years, as criminals have become increasingly sophisticated in their approach to victims.
Scammers can hack systems of companies to steal employee credentials and information. The stolen information can be used for other scams such as spear phishing or business executive compromise.
Criminals use a variety of techniques to entice people into providing their personal banking information. This can include bogus websites, fake email addresses and even apps that look like the real thing. Using trusted apps when making online payments can help to prevent this type theft.
A common online scam involves someone contacting a victim and claiming to represent a legitimate government agency or creditor. They ask their victim for money to be transferred from their current account to one that they control. This is known as authorised push payment (APP) fraud.
Victims are often asked to pay fees for official documents such as passports or visas. The victim may be asked to pay a fee for a service, such as electricity or insurance. The criminal takes the money and disappears.
These scams can happen over the phone or via email, but they are usually more sophisticated when they are carried out over the internet. Criminals often impersonate companies or contacts that the victim is familiar with, such as HMRC or their energy provider.
Even if they are successful, it can take some time for the money to be withdrawn from the bank. In the interim, the victim’s money and confidence in online transactions have been lost. For the rest their lives, victims will wonder how they were fooled into trusting criminals.
When you receive a message asking you to send money, always pause for a second before responding. Criminals use authority and urgency to induce fear and prompt immediate action. Remember that everything online can be feigned, so if you see something suspicious, wait until you have it verified by a trusted source. Report scams if you fall victim.
4. Other Scams
The goal of scammers is to separate the unwitting victim, often those who are not technologically savvy, from their PII (personal identifiable information) and other means of storing value. In a banking context, this includes money, credit card information, and other financial data, as well as other valuable items such as cars and jewellery. Scammers are often motivated by money and, whether they’re using email or phone, they try to trick their victims into transferring money, sharing confidential PII, or making payments to a fraudulent account.
Funds transfer fraud is one of the most damaging cyber crimes for businesses because once fraudsters steal a business’ money, it can be extremely difficult to recover. It can have a psychological impact as well as the actual loss of funds. This is especially true for those who have been targeted as a family member, friend or colleague by scammers.
In the “fake fraud” scam, criminals gather information about a business’s suppliers. They then contact a member from their finance team via phone or email. The criminal will then request that future invoices are paid into his own bank account, rather than the real account of the company. This type of cyber attack is growing in popularity because it is more lucrative for criminals than simply targeting individuals.