Any crisis creates an ideal breeding ground for economic scams. With that of COVID-19, for example, we have seen how cybercriminals have taken advantage of fear and uncertainty to steal large amounts of money from their victims : from false Postal deliveries to fraudulent messages from the Ministry of Labour.
However, in the worst case, up to 380,000 euros have been stolen . This is reflected in the Mirror, which explains the various attempts by thieves to fake house sales to deceive British citizens. This newspaper also underlines that this type of practice not only preys on the most naive, but also on educated people who have been cornered by increasingly perfected tactics.
Martyn James, an expert in Consumption, points out the five most dangerous methods that any citizen should know so that not a single euro is stolen from them.
The boiler room
While it is true that the name is misleading, the truth is that it perfectly describes the method of deception used by criminals. As if it were a pressure cooker, fraudsters meet in small rooms with telephones and computers, which they use extensively to deceive people with non- existent bank investments . This route can be very aggressive if the supposed bank operator insists and insists that his savings need movements so as not to lose value. They also pretend to be telephone companies, law firms, beauty clinics…
Abuse of authority
There are those cases in which the victim receives a call from someone who pretends to be a manager from his bank, a lawyer from his office or an agent from the neighborhood police station. He then tells her that his checking account has been compromised in the last few hours and offers to transfer all his money to a secure account so no one can steal his money. The person, confident that it is an authority figure, agrees to carry out her instructions almost without asking. In this way, 200.7 million pounds have been stolen, as reported by UK Finance, in the first half of 2020.
Smishing consists of the use of SMS to obtain a user’s personal information and make fraudulent use of it. The normal thing is that it is about bank details to be able to access current accounts. The difference with phishing is the means by which the scam is carried out; in phishing it is through email and in smishing it is done with SMS. It is not a new phenomenon, because it first appeared in 2008, but now it has increased thanks to the use of messaging applications such as WhatsApp.
The package that never arrives
The scam is simple: you receive a message that tells you that if you do not pay a fee, you will not be able to receive the package you are waiting for. To do this, they encourage you to make the payment immediately using your credit card and through a portal whose objective is to access your credentials. Recently, Kaspersky researchers have uncovered a series of spam and phishing attacks that seek to exploit the use of home delivery services. that users are using during the coronavirus pandemic. Scammers pose as courier company employees confirming that a package has arrived. However, to receive it, the potential victim must read or confirm the information in an attached file. Once the user opens it, the malware is automatically downloaded to their computer or mobile device.
Go for the lawyers
Criminals know that lawyers move large amounts of money . Above all, those who are dedicated to Commercial or Real Estate Law. Therefore, a good part of the scams mentioned are directed at these professionals. It is exactly the same tricks, only in these cases the level of perfection and the power of conviction is much higher. In the same way, they attack multinationals, electricity companies or marketing agencies. As James points out, there are cases of thefts that exceed 350,000 pounds.