One night about two months ago I was on the phone with a client, discussing the content of a fundraising letter we were planning, when she glanced at her e-mail and saw a message telling her that she’d sent the funds to a town in Montana and that she needed to verify which bank held the funds.
She filled in the blanks with the appropriate banks, and the emotion of relief she felt pushed her towards the mouse. She was able to view the link and identify the link was to a webpage she had seen on a website she’d downloaded a letter from. She was able to read the text that was attached to the transfer request, and recognized the name of the sender as someone she knew.
She slowed down her heart rate and opened up the e-mail she’d received from her web host, and started reading the message attached to the transfer. Her eyes got used to the size of the attachment and she raised her hand to her mouth to stop herself from laughing.
The message was part of a series of emails she’d received earlier that month, all arriving from Africa. She had gotten a number of her other hosts to stop sending her these emails, because they were sure she was the victim of a hoax.
But she didn’t think twice about clicking on the link. The message told her the link would take her to a website she’d never heard of, and about the same time she clicked the link she was told that the website was bogus.
She left her computer for a while, so the hacker thought she was OK, and got a feel for the software she was using. When she returned to her computer, she dueled with the administrator, figuring he must’ve been the one who’d set her up with the bogus account.
No such luck. She had logged on to the bogus account using her own name and a name she’d heard about from a previous sale. Her gullibility won out over her common sense.
So, the moral of this story is twofold:
Don’t rely on any online person, institution or company for any information. Information fed to you through emails, instant messages or chat rooms is not true or reliable. Be wary of any information in emails, instant messages or chat rooms that doesn’t briskly verify itself with a phone number, physical address, email address and a verifiable phone number/company.
Never buyer anyone who icon or name you in the program because their script may disable the icon returned to your browser every time you close the browser.
Whenever you are on a discussion forum, don’t reply to any messages asking you for your name, money or other personal information.
If you are the victim of an online crime, such as a fraudulent bank, and you want to report it, first go to the police and tell them everything you know.
When you are a victim of an online crime, such as a fraudulent bank, you must prove your identity to the police in order to file a report.
Finally, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself from becoming a victim of an online crime.
1. If you suddenly get contact from someone you know but they don’t sound like they know you, confidence will ride on you making a quick decision.
2. Don’t tell anyone online your bank account number or other personal info.
3. If you are a victim and you want to file a report, get a copy of the police report against you.
4.quire how the Major Crimes Squad is handling the case. When you do this you will find out if there is any indication that your case is being handled.
5. clue that you are being recorded by an online service preventing you from leaving an online record.
6. clue that your ISP is watching out for unusual traffic as a fraud attempt.
7. clue that you are being recorded by a legitimate company for Briggs to contact you.