Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) May 06, 2013
Scambook is advising consumers to be on the lookout for the latest phishing scam, a malware email claiming to be the US Federal Reserve informing victims about a cancelled wire transfer and prompting the download of a payment receipt for more details.
“It’s important to spot these emails now that tax season is over and refunds are trickling in,” said Scambook’s Director of Marketing Kase Chong. “Americans will be eager to click on these messages alleged to include FedWire payment receipts from the Federal Reserve.”
This phishing scheme impersonates the Federal Reserve sending an email from “alerts(at)federalreserve(dot)gov”. According to the cyber security experts at Sophos, the email reads:
The Wire transfer , recently sent from your bank account , was not processed by the FedWire.
Transfer details attached to the letter.
This service is provided to you by the Federal Reserve Board. Visit us on the web at website.
To report this message as spam, offensive, or if you feel you have received this in error, please send e-mail to email address including the entire contents and subject of the message. It will be reviewed by staff and acted upon appropriately
Included is an attachment called PAYMENT RECEIPT 30-04-2013-GBK-75.zip, that when opened, infects Windows PCs with a Trojan virus designed to hack the computer and steal private information. Trojan viruses can result in scrambled hard drives, compromised finances, and even identity theft.
Although phishing emails present a serious threat to consumers, they’re easily avoidable. Scambook recommends the following five tips to avoid getting hooked by phishing:
1. Know the red flags of phishing emails. Look for poor spelling, grammar and bad punctuation. Random capitalization and improper comma placement in the first sentence has been seen in the Federal Reserve phishing emails. Also, look for an official seal or other graphical formatting that would prove it’s from an alleged source.
2. Check how is the email addressed. A real email will always address the receiver by their real name or username. Phishing emails commonly jump into the letter without salutations.
3. Think about the context. The message should apply to the person receiving the email, rather than approaching from a more generic angle. Think about whether a wire transfer using FedWire was sent recently. It’s best to check with the bank first, either on their website or calling customer service, rather than automatically opening the email.
4. Trust your instincts and email service. If an email seems like a scam, it probably is. Emails’ spam filters and malware-blocking tools were created to weed out harmful emails. Delete these messages right away.
5. Use anti-virus software. It’s important to upkeep cyber security with all the personal information stored on computers. Firewalls and the latest anti-virus software (Avira or AVG are free) should always be turned on and updated. Schedule regular system scans to be extra safe and run a scan when it’s suspected you have received a phishing email.
Scambook is an online complaint resolution platform dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of fraud with unprecedented speed and accuracy. By building communities and providing resources on the latest scams, Scambook arms consumers with the up-to-date information they need to stay on top of emerging schemes. Since its inception, Scambook has resolved over $10 million in reported consumer damages. For more information, visit scambook.com.