Don’t fall prey to phishing scams
When Jack received two emails from Royal Bank of Canada he deleted them immediately. In lieu of the recent Heartbleed bug and other malicious phishing scams, he assumed the emails were fraudulent. He immediately called RBC to notify them of the emails.
To his surprise, the emails were actually legitimate. “How could I know it’s legitimate?” he asked, noting that he isn’t used to banks using email to communicate with customers in the first place.
Royal Bank of Canada representative Ciaran Dickson said the emails Jack received were no different from promotional emails sent by a company such as Rogers.
“We generally wouldn’t reach out by email to contact someone unless it was an alert,” Mr. Dickson says. “One of those emails was a new online banking feature, so it wasn’t asking for anything from anyone.”
Even though Jack exercised caution and has not fallen prey to lurking cyber-goons, many fail to differentiate between legitimate and fraudulent emails.Phishing scams, in which fraudulent parties send official-looking emails with company logos asking customers to sign onto equally official-looking websites using their online account information, have long been a bane of the banking industry.
When British journalist Jane Corbin was rushing to meet a deadline one evening in December 2009, she received an alarming message from Yahoo in her email inbox. The message claimed Ms. Corbin’s account would be shut down unless she confirmed her details, including her password. Fearing for the worst, she immediately offered up her most private details.
“It looked authentic,” she wrote in January 2010 in the Guardian. “The graphics, the text, and the disclaimer at the bottom... even some of the details about my account were accurate.”
就在她输入私人信息几秒钟后，她的屏幕就黑了，随后她的通讯录上的所有人– 包括英国政府官员– 都接到了一封电子邮件，说她被陷在西班牙，继续往她的账户上汇款1500英镑。
Within seconds after entering her information, the screen went blank and everyone in her address book – including British government officials – received an e-mail saying that she was trapped in Spain and urgently needed 1500 pounds wired to her bank account.
Phishing emails contain catchphrases, which may easily dupe the reader. These catch phrases,which create a sense of urgency and are constructed to shock or terrify intended targets, include threats or warnings that your bank account will close or be frozen, mysterious money transfer alerts, or phantom security alerts designed to grasp your attention. Opening phishing emails can also result in malware being installed on a user's computer that can steal passwords when doing online banking.
Besides asking for passwords and account numbers, signs of phishing scams often include bad grammar and misspelled words.
Corbin女士的两难处境并非孤立事件，网钓陷阱大有上升之势。实际上，根据防毒软件制造商Symantec在十月份的一份报告，网络犯罪– 包括网钓陷阱– 去年给加拿大人造成超过30亿元的损失。
Ms. Corbin’s dilemma was not an isolated event, and Phishing scams are on the rise. In fact, according to an October report by antivirus software maker Symantec, cybercrime – including phishing scams – cost Canadians more than $3 billion last year.
According to a CBC report, there are 156 million phishing emails sent out globally every day, and about a third of the respondents to a Visa Canada survey admitted to having fallen prey to phishing scams.Overall, 84 per cent of the respondents in this survey said they frequently received phishing scams and two-thirds said they would report them if they knew how.
Most phishing scams target youths and seniors. Specifically, today’s tech savvy but naïvegeneration have been the favored preys of fraudsters. A survey PwC, a global consulting firm found that 92 per cent of respondents under age 35 confirmed they had been targeted by phishing scams.
Even though most banks and organizations will compensate, reverse, or cancel fraudulent transactions, customers must remain vigilant in responding to phony emails.
正如皇家银行所说，他们从来不会在发给你的示警邮件中加上银行网络服务的链接。虽然这类邮件不要打开，但也别删掉，直到你转发给执法部门，包括“加拿大防止诈骗中心” antifraudcentre.ca；Visa公司的phishing(at)visa.com 或者reportphishing (at)apwg.org。
As RBC states, banks never include a link to an online service nor will they send you alerts through email. While emails shouldn't be opened, they shouldn't be deleted until after they're forwarded to law enforcement, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at info(at)antifraudcentre.ca; Visa's phishing(at)visa.com or reportphishing(at)apwg.org.
In fact, a split second decision can guard your online privacy and avoid of being victimized by the cyber predators.
“A healthy level of skepticism never does any harm,” said Jack.
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