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FBI warns of new banking scam

By David McMillin · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Posted: 1 pm ET

Some crafty criminals are aiming to steal one of the most valuable pieces of your personal property: your banking information.

In a new warning, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warns account holders of a new spam email scheme that involves a type of malware called "Gameover." The scheme involves fake emails from the National Automated Clearing House Association, the Federal Reserve or the FDIC. These messages attempt to trick recipients into clicking on a link to resolve some type of issue with their accounts or a recent ACH transaction. Once you click on the link, Gameover takes over your computer, and thieves can steal usernames, passwords and your money.

The FBI also warns the thieves' hacking capabilities can navigate around common user authentication methods banks use to verify your identity, which is certainly a cause for concern. Those additional authentication steps -- often personal questions, birth dates or other pieces of private informationĀ -- are meant to provide some extra security padding.

While phishing scams are nothing new to the world of online banking, this type of warning serves as a reminder of just how susceptible account holders can be to malicious attacks. As more account holders begin to jump on the mobile banking bandwagon, it's important to remember that a smartphone essentially acts as another computer. While this additional connection to the Internet is convenient, it also serves as another outlet where your information can be compromised.

Here are a few crucial steps to take to avoid falling victim to this type of Internet crime.

  • Keep your computer and mobile device updated with the newest versions of anti-virus software.
  • If you have any doubts about an email sender's authenticity, do not click on any embedded links.
  • Remember, banks never request any personal information via email.
  • Be vigilant about checking your account balances. The sooner you notice and report any type of fraudulent activity, the more likely you'll be able to be reimbursed for any missing funds.

Have you ever fallen victim to an online banking attack? If so, do you have any tips for other readers to avoid the trap?

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466 Comments
Susan
March 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm

It would behoove everyone to do a little research on their own regarding the bank of their choosing. Are your deposits insured? Go to the FDIC website to find out everything you need to know before putting your money into a bank that cares little for its customers.

I have been with the same bank for over 30 years, and I don't think I would ever bank on-line if there wasn't a branch in my home town.

John
March 11, 2012 at 2:00 am

mp There is no god.

kopperhaid
March 10, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Doen't make bats ass sense. but it is being ochestrated by the d.c. cartel and internationl european gangsters or communist.

It is ready to come out of the closet completely very soon.

Johnny
March 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Stealing information from your file is pretty easy when a hacker can go into computer system to steal your valuable personal information. So it is better to keep all your confidential piece of personal info in a safe place as much as possible. Have longer passwords to protect you if you use internet banking. Many people got trick or scam nowadays. Just prepare for things like that for safety.

Secure Systems
March 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Years ago the banksters had plenty of opportunities to secure their systems, but they refused. Then the banksters demanded and got "bailouts" from Obama and gave each other multimillion dollar bonuses with our money. Now we see thieves cleaning out our bank accounts, yet the banksters refuse to protect us. One example: An LA business had $40,000 in a BofA account that was cleaned out in minutes by a "bank in Croatia", but BofA refused to protect the account or stop the transaction. Perhaps the banksters have "foreign friends" working outside the US who are cleaning out our bank accounts and giving the banksters a cut of the action?

M W Baumeister, Ed D
March 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm

A

Report phishing to your local FBI field office.

mp
March 10, 2012 at 7:33 am

Years ago everyone did't claim all these degrees that are out there and they would LOOK LISTEN and LEARN.Now they Run Eat Spend Pay no attention to what is going on and let the crooks take control of their life.they like what they hear and not what they see.Feel that work is to much.Take the easy way out and end up in a mess.Life is not Hollywood and life is not a made up story.God wrote the rules and thats it