In the age of social media, fraudsters and thieves seem to have it made when it comes to ripping people off. In the olden days, crooks had to go to people’s homes and rip them off in person. But with email, texting and other social media resources, thousands of victims can be reached with the click of a button.
On June 27, the editor of The Pipestone Flyer received the following fraudulent email:
“Your transaction(s) for the following account(s) are now available for reviewing. Please find and download the attached PDF transaction(s) report and follow the instruction. For your security, you must review these transactions by June 30th, 2016. Thank you for cooperation.
“This email was sent to you by Orange Key Security Corporation, on behalf of Tangerine.
“Dear Tangerine Client,
“A recent transaction was flagged by our state-of-the-art Analytics Security Detection System. Transactions flagged as having unclear or higher risk are reviewed by Tangerine Risk Management team, thru our Tangerine Online Banking Security Guarantee.
“If an unauthorized transaction is conducted through your Tangerine Forward Banking service, you will be reimbursed 100% for any resulting losses to those accounts. To receive reimbursement under this guarantee, you must:
“Sign in and review recent transactions by Clicking Here. After going thru our review process you will be reimbursed for any unauthorized transaction.
“These transactions will be irreversible and you will not be reimbursed if you do not comply within the next 24 hours. We thank you for your cooperation.
“Marc Hill, Risk Management Operator, Tangerine Security Departement.”
The editor doesn’t have a Tangerine online bank account, so the message obviously threw up red flags immediately. The “clicking here” link certainly goes to a phishing website where the criminals responsible for this email will collect legitimate bank account information from their victims. Also, someone as important as Marc Hill, Risk Management Operator, should know how to spell “department” correctly.
The editor send the following response to Marc Hill on June 27: “Hi, this is the editor of The Pipestone Flyer newspaper.
“I would like to do a story about your fraudulent operation. Do you have someone who can call me?
“I just sent your email to the RCMP and a bank, both told me this is a scam.
“Please respond immediately, I’d love to put you in my newspaper. Thanks.” As of June 2, no response has arrived.
Wetaskiwin RCMP spokesperson Cst. Holly Porterfield, after reading the email, noted the nature of the message is suspicious.
“Here are some things that should raise some red flags,” noted Porterfield.
“Any urgent matters from your bank will not likely come via email, unless you have set it up that way.
“Your bank is more likely to send a letter in the mail requesting you attend your banking institution. You will not be given such a short amount of time to respond (24 hours).
“Look at the ‘From’ email address ‘greenshield.ca’ this does not seem to be related to Tangerine.
“Look for spelling errors, and the greeting only being your email address (the bank knows your name). If you hold your curser over the “Click Here” link it should show you what address the link is going to take you to, make sure that it is actually the correct one.
“There is no signature at the bottom of the letter. If you are unsure if the email is fraudulent then contact your bank directly,” added Porterfield.