Scam of the day – September 29, 2017 – Incredibly poor Wells Fargo phishing email

Phishing emails, by which scammers and identity thieves attempt to lure you into either clicking on links contained within the email which download malware or providing personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft are nothing new.   They are a staple of identity thieves and scammers and with good reason because they work. Reproduced below is a copy of a new phishing email presently circulating that appears to come from Wells Fargo.   Wells Fargo is a popular target for this type of phishing email because it is one of the largest banks in the United States.  Like so many phishing emails, this one attempts to lure you into responding by making you think there is an emergency to which you must respond. As phishing emails go, this one is embarrassingly poor. Despite having a legitimate appearing Wells Fargo logo, the grammar is atrocious.  In addition, the email address from which it was sent is that of an individual totally unrelated to Wells Fargo and is most likely the address of an email account of someone whose email account was hacked and made a part of a botnet of computers used by scammers to send out phishing emails.   As so often is the case with these type of phishing emails, it does not contain your account number in the email or address you by name.  I have removed the links contained in the original email as sent.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Account

® Security Re-identify

Your Wells Fargo online access need’s to be re-identify on our server. Because we are having difficulty to contact you with the email address on file with us do to this reason’s you are advised to perform account security identification process by confirming your email account with us also to make your  account 100% secured, sign on to continue. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

To avoid your Account from being Permanently BLOCKED.
Go to xxxxxxxxxxxxxx  For all other Online Banking related inquiries, please call  Wells Fargo Online Customer Service at xxxxxxxxxxxx.

TIPS

There are a number of indications that this is not a legitimate email from Wells Fargo, but instead is a phishing email. Legitimate credit card companies would refer to your specific account number in the email.  They also would direct the email to you by name rather than directing it to your email address.   As with all phishing emails, two things can happen if you click on the links provided.  Either you will be sent to a legitimate looking, but phony webpage where you will be prompted to input personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft or, even worse, merely by clicking on the link, you may download keystroke logging malware that will steal all of your personal information from your computer or smartphone and use it to make you a victim of identity theft.  If you receive an email like this and think it may possibly be legitimate, merely call the customer service number where you can confirm that it is a scam, but make sure that you dial the telephone number correctly because scammers have been known to buy phone numbers that are just a digit off of the legitimate numbers for financial companies, such as Wells Fargo to trap you if you make a mistake in dialing the real number.

Scam of the day – February 18, 2017 – Florida man sentenced for Business email scam

Recently, Jeffrey Ihm was sentenced to eleven years and eight months in federal prison after being convicted of multiple criminal counts related to his business email scam through which he managed to steal $2,234,681.

Ihm posed in emails as executives of a number of legitimate companies, such as Roper Industries and tricked Well Fargo Bank and other financial institutions to send him the money.

This scam, which is often referred to as the business email scam has become a serious problem in the last couple of years with many companies becoming victims of the scam.

TIPS

The key for businesses is to have a protocol in place in regard to approvals necessary and verification required before paying bills, particularly when funds are requested to be wired.

The lesson also applies to all of us as individuals.  Scammers also send phony bills that appear to individuals that appear to come from companies with which we do business, but with a different address to send the money. Never send a payment to a different address from that which you have done in the past unless you have verified both the accuracy of the bill and the address.

Scam of the day – June 18, 2013 – National Mortgage Settlement scam

As I have told you previously, in February of 2012 through the joint efforts of 49 state attorneys general as well as federal authorities a 25 billion dollar settlement was reached with the country’s five largest mortgage servicers, namely Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.  Funds from the settlement are to be paid to harmed borrowers as well as to the states and federal government.  The claim involved unfair and deceptive mortgage practices.  Initial payments to borrowers who have already filed claims started on June 10th.  Unfortunately, scam artists have been contacting homeowners representing that they are with the banks involved.  They ask for your checking account number and bank routing number in order to facilitate a payment to you under the settlement.  This is a scam.  Banks will not be contacting you and if they did, they would already know your account number and the routing number of the bank.  These scammers are only seeking these numbers in order to create counterfeit checks and empty your checking account.  Other scammers are contacting victims and telling them that for a fee, they can facilitate early payments under the settlement to the victim.  This too is a scam.  No one can get you your settlement payment, if you are owed one, any quicker for a fee.

TIPS

For information about the settlement program that you can trust go to the following link http://www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com/ which is the link for the website of the National Mortgage Settlement set up by the state attorneys general who got the settlement.  In particular, you will want to go to the section of the website entitled “Help for the Borrower.”  In addition, you should not trust anyone who contacts you who says that for a fee they can get you your settlement payment faster.  That is a scam.  You also should not provide any information to anyone who calls you purporting to be from the banks or attorneys general involved in the settlements.  Scammers are posing as the banks or attorneys general merely to get your personal information and scam you out of your hard earned money.  If you have any questions about your eligibility for any funds under the settlement, use the above link to access the contact information for the banks and governmental agencies involved in the settlement for trustworthy information.