I have written many times about phishing emails from scammers posing as your bank who attempt to lure you into transferring money to them under the pretext of some emergency.  I also have written many times about smishing text messages where scammers use text messages that appear to come from your bank that attempt to lure you into transferring money to them or providing information that leads to your becoming a victim of identity theft.  I have also written on a few occasions about vishing scams in which scammers pose as your bank in a phishing phone call.   Vishing is a combination of the word “voice” and the word “phishing” and it refers to phishing scams done over the phone.    Today’s Scam of the day is about a vishing scam in the UK in which Merrick Anderson lost approximately 25,000 pounds to such a scam.  This scam is certainly not limited to the UK, but is occurring everywhere.

Merrick Anderson’s troubles began when he received a phone call from someone purporting to be from Lloyds Bank regarding problems with Anderson’s account.  Anderson’s Caller ID indicated that the call was indeed from Lloyds Bank.  Unfortunately, sophisticated scammers are able to trick Caller ID into indicating that the call indeed is coming from your bank through a technique called “spoofing” so you cannot trust your Caller ID to screen legitimate calls from those scammers.  The scammer convinced Anderson that in order to protect his account from more problems, he should transfer the money in his account to an account at Barclays.  Believing that it was an emergency, Anderson complied and promptly transferred approximately 25,000 pounds to the account of the scammers.  In less than an hour he realized what a mistake he had made and called Lloyds who was only able to recover 2 pounds.  Eventually the bank agreed to reimburse him for half of the money he lost in accordance with a UK voluntary industry code.  In most jurisdictions, Anderson would have no claim against his bank as the fault was entirely his own.

TIPS

Whenever you get a phone call, text message or email you cannot be sure who is really contacting you so you should never provide personal information, click on links or take any action in response to the communication unless you have absolutely confirmed that the communication was legitimate.

The words of Lloyds Bank in response to this scam should be heeded by everyone.  Their spokesman said, “It’s important to treat every email, message or call that you’re not expecting with caution, avoid clicking on links asking for your bank details and pay close attention to any warnings when banking online.  Your bank or a genuine company will never ask you to move money to a different account — if anyone does, it’s definitely a scam, no matter how genuine it may appear.”

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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