Five scams to watch out for

The Irish Times Magazine - - COVER STORY -


The bit­coin black­mail email

Scam­mers send emails to vic­tims con­tain­ing de­tails of ac­tual pass­words be­long­ing to them and claim they have in­fected their com­puter with mal­ware and recorded the vic­tim watch­ing pornog­ra­phy and will widely dis­trib­ute the record­ing un­less bit­coin is trans­ferred.


Crim­i­nals send ap­par­ently in­nocu­ous mails to com­pa­nies, which look like they come from reg­u­lar sup­pli­ers. The email seeks no money and is an ad­min­is­tra­tive alert let­ting the re­cip­i­ent know the bank de­tails for the sup­plier have changed. Pay­ment sys­tems are up­dated. Weeks pass be­fore a le­git­i­mate in­voice from the sup­plier ar­rives and is paid, but to the wrong bank ac­count.

The in­voice scam


Scam­mers use so­cial me­dia to find out who the chief ex­ec­u­tives and se­nior fi­nan­cial staff are in com­pa­nies and send bo­gus emails pur­port­ing to be from bosses to fi­nan­cial staff in­struct­ing them to trans­fer money into num­bered bank ac­counts.

The chief ex­ec­u­tive scam


This sees scam­mers leav­ing missed calls from mys­te­ri­ous num­bers on mo­bile phones. When calls are re­turned they are di­verted to pre­mium rate num­bers over­seas, to the vic­tim’s cost.

The Wan­giri fraud


Any email from a bank, the Na­tional Lottery, Net­flix, Rev­enue or Ebay or who­ever ask­ing for key de­tails, such as pass­words or bank ac­count num­bers, so they can up­date ac­counts with en­hanced se­cu­rity fea­tures or send money should be treated with ex­treme cau­tion. No rep­utable or­gan­i­sa­tion will ever con­tact any­one in such a way.

Phish­ing scams

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