Bank Windhoek has warned that some of its clients are receiving fraudulent emails claiming to come from Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The email is based on a scam that claims people will receive billions of dollars from the Facebook CEO.
Fraudulent messages started circulating on Facebook soon after Zuckerberg announced in December that he would put 99 percent of his shares into a special vehicle that would allow him to give his money away.
It claimed that some of that money will be going to Facebook users, as long as they copy and paste a status onto their own profiles.
“The hoax has now turned into a fully-fledged email phishing campaign requesting people to complete a form with their banking details,” warned Marlize Horn, executive officer of marketing and corporate communication services. “This is a fraudulent scheme of phishing where fraudsters can use the information to access the accounts of clients,” Horn explained.
Phishing is the process whereby someone obtains someone else’s private information through devious means to fraudulently assume another’s identity and ultimately gain control over that person’s bank account.
Phishing is, therefore, a form of identity theft that depends entirely on the victim’s cooperation. It includes fraudulent email messages and SMS messages that lure clients to provide their personal information.
Some tips that can help clients identify fraudulent email, calls or SMS messages include:
Check the email address
Scrutinise the senders’ email closely. Scammers often make use of commercial email clients, like Outlook or Gmail, which a professional company would not use. It may look credible but there may be one character added or missing from an otherwise credible mail address.
Incorrect spelling and poor grammar
Professional companies or organisations usually have copy editors that will not allow a mass email or SMS to be distributed to users containing mistakes.
Beware of links in emails/SMS messages
If you see a link in an email or SMS, do not click on it, but rather delete the email. You can also mark it as spam or junk and future emails from the sender will not show up in you inbox.
The fraudsters rely on the anxiousness of recipients by means of a threat that an account might be closed if the actions required in the email are not followed.
Scam artists use graphics in emails that appear to be connected to legitimate websites, but actually take the user to a phoney site. Although the website may look real, the hyperlink or embedded website attached is often a different address than the link that appears in the email.
Poor quality images
Whether it is a letterhead or image that looks authentic, these are usually of poor quality, as the fraudsters pull the images off the firm’s website, causing the image to be of low quality and pixelated. It is advisable to delete emails if there’s any doubt as to their authenticity, as the email may also contain spamware, which may be installed on your computer.