Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), the European Banking Federation (EBF) and their partners from the public and private sector have launched the cyberscams awareness campaign (#Cyberscams) as part of the European Cyber Security Month (ECMS). The ECMS is an EU awareness campaign that promotes cyber security among citizens and organisations, highlighting simple steps that can be taken to protect their personal, financial and professional data.
Over the next week, law enforcement agencies from all 28 EU Member States, 5 non- EU Member States, 24 national banking associations and banks and many other cybercrime fighters will be raising awareness about this criminal phenomenon. This pan-European endeavour will be driven by a communication campaign via social media channels and national law enforcement, bank associations and financial institutions. The EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF) focuses on tackling such cyberscams.
Following Europol’s Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessemtnt (IOCTA) 2018recommendations, the most effective defence against social engineering is the education of potential victims – that’s each and every one of us when online! Raising awareness among the general public on how to identify cyberscams will help to protect us and keep our finances safe online.
Awareness-raising material in 27 languages is available for public download – this includes information on the 7 most common online financial scams, and how to avoid them. These are:
- CEO fraud: scammers pretend to be your CEO or senior representative in the organisation and trick you into paying a fake invoice or making an unauthorised transfer out of the business account.
- Invoice fraud: they pretend to be one of your clients/suppliers and trick you into paying future invoices into a different bank account.
- Phishing/Smishing/Vishing: they call you, send you a text message or an email to trick you into sharing your personal, financial or security information.
- Spoofed bank website fraud: they use bank phishing emails with a link to the spoofed website. Once you click on the link, various methods are used to collect your financial and personal information. The site will look like its legitimate counterpart, with small differences.
- Romance scam: they pretend to be interested in a romantic relationship. It commonly takes place on online dating websites, but scammers often use social media or email to make contact.
- Personal data theft: they harvest your personal information via social media channels.
- Investment and online shopping scams: they make you think you are on a smart investment… or present you with a great fake online offer.
- Check your online accounts regularly.
- Check your bank account regularly and report any suspicious activity to your bank.
- Perform online payments only on secure websites (check the URL bar for the padlock and https) and using secure connections (choose a mobile network instead of public Wi-Fi).
- Your bank will never ask you for sensitive information such as your online account credentials over the phone or email.
- If an offer sounds too good to be true, it’s almost always a scam.
- Keep your personal information safe and secure.
- Be very careful about how much personal information you share on social network sites. Fraudsters can use your information and pictures to create a fake identity or to target you with a scam.
- If you think that you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank immediately.
- Always report any suspected fraud attempt to the police, even if you did not fall victim to the scam.
Don’t become a cyberscams victim! Stay aware and spread the word.