Back in the early days of the internet, email scams were a daily occurrence. Users had to constantly sort through emails in order to find the ones that mattered and the ones that were just spam.
One of the most challenging parts of that task was separating legitimate banking emails from scam emails. For users who had just been introduced to the internet, this wasn’t always easy.
Today, many things have changed, but many things have stayed the same. Here are six ways in which today’s hackers try to trick users into thinking they’re legitimate reps for your bank:
6) Ask you to confirm password details over text/SMS
Today, many banks have established two factor authentication systems to improve account security. When you log into your banking website, you’ll also receive a text message on your phone. That text will contain a secret code that you enter when prompted. That’s good.
But hackers have jumped on this opportunity and are sending out texts asking for specific password details. Instead of sending you a code, these fake bank texts will ask you to send back password details. Don’t fall for these scams. If you’re ever unsure whether or not that bank text is legitimate, then call your bank and ask.
5) Give you a deadline or ultimatum where your account deletes itself
Hackers like stupid people. One of the stupidest ways in which today’s hackers are working is by giving you an ultimatum saying your account will be deleted in 24 hours if you don’t respond. This ultimatum is often sent over email. Hacker websites are often shut down in just a few hours, and hackers rely on this timed approach in order to draw as many targets as possible in a short period of time.
Unless you have an account at the world’s worst bank for customer service, they’re not going to issue an ultimatum and take all your money if you don’t respond to an email within 24 hours. Yes, this is the stupidest scam on this list, but people fall for it every day.
4) Use shortened emails in a URL
URL shortener services are a convenient way to share cool links with Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, they’re also an easy way for hackers to steal your information. Hackers hide dangerous URLs within shortened links to avoid detection. You click on the link thinking it takes you to one website, only to arrive at another.
Today, most hackers are smarter than this, and they’ve started using domains that look a lot like your bank. If you’re using Bank of America, for example, then the hackers might buy an account like BankOfAmerica235.com. At first glance, that domain looks legitimate, and users are often tricked into clicking on the link and then filling out their information.
3) Email you asking for your mother’s maiden name or other secret password details
If hackers are emailing you, then they may already know quite a bit about you. In fact, all that may be standing between your account and their greedy fingers is your mother’s maiden name or the street you grew up on.
If somebody starts asking for secret question-style details over email, or text, then they are most definitely not a representative of your bank. That’s now how banks work. Don’t fall for this scam.
2) Address you by anything other than your name
Phishing scams work using a large net. They send out thousands of emails and hope that one or two people respond to the scam. For that reason, the emails often address you as:
Banks will address you using your first name, last name, or both. If you see anything else in an email from ‘your bank’, then that’s a huge red flag.
1) Call your landline and ask you to dial the real bank number back (aka the most clever scam on this page)
Today’s PC users are getting smarter, and in response, so are today’s hackers. One of the smartest scams today works like this:
-Hackers call your home’s landline and tell you it’s the bank (or even the police)
-To confirm your identity, you will be asked to call the real bank’s number. The hackers will ask you to hang up and look up the bank’s real number and then call back.
-In reality, the hackers simply play a dial tone sound and pretend to be your bank.
-Suddenly, you’re giving intimate personal details and credit card information to people who really shouldn’t have that information