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Nearly Scammed out of £100k

Scammers will try absolutely anything to get a hold of your hard earned cash.

Yesterday we had a gentleman who found out that a transfer of £100k+ was about to be hijacked by a scammer. This is the story of how that happened.

This scammer had got into the gentlemans account via a phishing email, at the time AOL was in the process of being bought out by Oath and scammers took advantage of this, creating a mock up email saying as part of this you’re required to resign into AOL. Our gentleman unfortunately believed them, although bear in mind these kind of emails can be very convincing. By “signing in” the scammer had the email, but they were very sneaky about it. They added their own number to the two factor authentication so if the gentleman tried to reset his password it would immediately notify to the scammer and give him complete control of the account. However where the scam came in was in the emails themselves. The scammer set rules (these allow automation of the emails) to delete any email that had AOL in the subject, then to send anything that had the subject of Invoices, Transfers or anything monetarily related to a “savedIM” folder, this is a folder most people rarely check so the scammer could essentially see and read all emails in private without the gentleman being aware.

Suspicious were raised when the gentleman arrived at work early, upon questioning the staff he found an email had been sent out informing him of the change and the transfer of funds upwards of £100k. This immediately warned the gentleman something was wrong and informed his bank. He then brought the computer in to the shop so we could have a look at it and see what was up. We went through and completely removed the scammers access to this email, as well as doing a full clean up of the computer looking for any scamware, trojans or any other malicious extensions or programs to confirm the scammer was completely gone. Thankfully no money was lost and the email was saved.

This is just one of many stories we see daily where scammers will do anything to get your details, your identity and your money. You have got to take care online and the two main ways we’re seeing scammers get through to people is via phishing emails and cold calls. If you get any calls or emails regarding issues with your accounts with your bank, your ISP (BT, Talk Talk, Sky, Virgin etc) or a tech company (microsoft, apple etc) Look at them with heavy suspicion, phone the company directly if you’re concerned, or go to their website and confirm the email they have with the one you recieved. And of course if you want to speak to someone feel free to ring us at 01228 514444.

An Example Phishing Email:

Stay safe, stay alert.