Beware of frauds

Your identity is a personal collection of confidential data meant for your own purposes. The theft of your identity with the intention of committing frauds is an offence punishable by law. The most common technique known today is phishing.

Phishing is a fraudulent act where emails, text messages and pop-up messages are sent to users claiming to be from a reputable financial institution or e-commerce site - to get the victim to release personal information.

Skimming occurs when fraudsters capture credit/debit card numbers using a special storage device when you are processing your card.

Change of address: Online hackers deliberately divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form.

Traditional theft: Wallets containing bank and credit card statements and other financial information.

Phone fraud: Fraudsters use false pretexts to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies, and other sources.

Dumpster diving: Fraudsters rummage through trash, looking for bills or other papers with your personal information on them.

Fake Mobile Apps: Those are increasingly being seen in the Cyber landscape and are designed to steal Online Banking credentials. Currently, a pair of malware, Android/FakeBankDropper.A and Android/FakeBank.A is widely being spread and spoof legitimate apps.

Remember: Keep your personal identifiers/details secure in a secure place and never disclose them to anyone.

The lottery scam or the 419 fraud (also known as 'Nigerian Letter' scam) are attempts to lure victims into a type of fraud known as an 'illegal advance fee' – via email. Millions of these fraudulent spam emails are sent to random email addresses in view to entice people into providing their bank account numbers by offering lottery wins, huge sums of money through bank transfers, and inviting the victims to only cover costs and fees.

Remember: Ignore unsolicited emails that urge you to transfer your money.

Investment scams usually lure people into attractive investment opportunities with massive paybacks, by claiming to be a risk-free business. Victims are invited to invest and their money is stolen. 

Remember: The higher the promised return, the higher the risk! Please take time to evaluate the legitimacy of an offer.

It is a marketing attempt to urge email recipients to buy large quantities of a product for resale, with attractive commission fees. Once purchased, products are never delivered.

Remember: Skip these offers. Don't send money now on the promise of a pay-off later. Be aware of whom you are dealing with.

Virus Hoaxes are false reports about non-existent viruses. Virus Hoaxes warn online users of dangerous viruses through emails and invite them to forward these messages to their network. These techniques are sometimes initiated to gather mass email data for spam use. 

Remember: DELETE suspicious emails. Remember that virus writers can use known hoaxes to distribute destructive trojans as attachments.

Malware, short for malicious software, is designed to infiltrate a computer without the user's consent. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, and other malicious and unsolicited software.

Trojans are a type of computer virus meant to intrude into a computer by inciting users to click on a random link sent by email. As soon as the user visits the website, the vulnerabilities of the web browser are exploited to install a Trojan. Trojans are sometimes used for installing a 'keystroke logger'.

Keystroke logger, or keylogger, tricks users into downloading software onto their computer by either visiting a compromised website, opening an attachment or following links in an email.

This software captures the user's keystrokes, including Internet Banking login credentials, and sends them back to the fraudster.

A spyware secretly gathers information about a person and transfers it to advertisers or other interested parties.

Slow down, malfunction, display of repeated error messages

No shutdown or restart

Barrage of pop-ups – even displayed when you're not surfing the web

Hijacked browser – display web pages or programs you didn't intend to use or send emails you didn't write

New and unexpected toolbars

New and unexpected icons on the taskbar of your computer or your desktop

Remember: If you suspect malware is lurking on your computer, stop shopping, banking, and other online activities that involve user names, passwords, or other sensitive information. Malware on your computer could be sending your personal information to identity thieves.

Phishing is a fraudulent act intended to lure victims into revealing their financial information.

Phishing involves seemingly credible emails sent to users, claiming to come from legitimate organisations such as banks, auction sites, or online merchant sites etc. That fraudulent but official-looking email is sent in an attempt to con users into divulging personal and/or financial information. The email directs the victim to a similar-looking website of the organisations' legitimate sites where it requests him to enter, verify or update his personal and financial information in view to steal them.

Even if the genuine website is accessed at first click, a fake pop-up window appears to make it more credible. Fraudsters also happen to lure victims into filling out an online banking survey with a monetary reward at the end. These surveys are often sent through emails.

Phishers also use phone and SMS to scam users into providing sensitive information. Generally, messages from phishing scams often use a sense of urgency to induce the user into taking action. 

Remember: Never respond to emails that request personal and financial information and never click on a link in such emails! No MCB staff will ask you for your Internet Banking credentials.

Recruitment of 'middlemen' is a significant step in the phishing activity.

In possession of the victim's information, the phishers appeal to 'transfer agents' in the same country as the victim to handle money transfers for them. They recruit individuals – also known as mules – by advertising attractive employment opportunities with high rates of pay, minimal hours of work with no specific qualification required.

Once recruited, the mules receive funds into their accounts, and they are then asked to take these funds out of their accounts in the form of cash and send them overseas (minus a commission payment), typically using a wire transfer service.

Money mules are recruited by a variety of methods, including spam emails, adverts on genuine recruitment websites, approaches to people with their CVs available online, instant messaging and adverts in newspapers. Important Note: Beware of easy money! Learn about the company.