Cyber scams-A A +A
Sunday, October 21, 2012
QUESTION: What is the worst kind of fishing? Answer: Cyber phishing.
I recently became a recipient of this bad joke when a very suspicious-looking e-mail popped in my inbox.
The sender and the sender’s address were dubious enough: “From: Alert: #RCBC029 firstname.lastname@example.org.” The subject: “RCBC: [Attention Required] ACCOUNT SUSPENSION NOTICE.”
But the biggest red flag of all was the content of the e-mail: “Dear RCBC Customer, we have activated the NEW (RCBC (11010) Security). Due to increased security problem, we have increased the level of our online security. Your Account was disabled for verification. You are required to re-activate your RCBC Account now to avoid suspension. Activate now>>>>>>>http:www.rcbc-)c-accessone.com/RCBC))/rcbc.htm>>>>>>>. Thank you, RCBC.”
The e-mail’s poor grammar is enough to raise eyebrows, but how do we guard ourselves (and our bank accounts) from cyber phishers?
The Information Technology Sub-Sector (ITSS) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas defines e-mail spam as “unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE) or unsolicited bulk e-mail (UBE).”
E-mail spam is sometimes referred to as “junk mail,” normally containing advertisements for services and products.
According to the ITSS, the most common types of spam e-mails include the following:
* Phishing scam/personal information scam -- a very popular and dangerous form of e-mail fraud that scammers use to commit identity theft
* Nigerian bank scams or advance fee fraud schemes
* Pyramid schemes, including multi-level marketing
* Sweepstakes, lottery, and prize scams
* Other “Get Rich Quick” or “Make Money Fast” schemes
* Quack health products and remedies
* Software collecting e-mail addresses
* Illegally pirated software
* Chain Letters
* Software collecting e-mail addresses and sending unsolicited commercial e-mail
* Offers of bulk e-mailing services for sending unsolicited commercial e-mail
So what are the signs that an e-mail is possibly “spam”? The ITSS answers:
* You do not know the sender;
* It involves something that is confidential or personal in nature (such as your PIN and password);
* It involves money; and
* It requires you to click on some form of link, hyperlink, URL or button.
Should you receive an e-mail spam, these are the things that you should do, according to the ITSS:
* Be cautious. If you suspect that you have received a spam message, do not reply.
* Just ignore and delete the message.
* Do not follow any instructions such as replying to the sender, disclosing personal information or passwords, or clicking on a URL link.
Lastly, always remember this advice from Alan Henry of popular tech blog Lifehacker.com: “The most beneficial skill you can learn is a healthy sense of internet skepticism.”
Note: My book “Central Banking for Every Juan and Maria” will be available soon through Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City. You may email us at email@example.com.