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BBB Warns of Phishing Scam Spoofing Southeast Texas Banks

The Better Business Bureau in Southeast Texas has issued a warning to all consumers and businesses in the region of an e-mail scam spoofing local banks to lure recipients to provide personal information, as reported by KBMT NEWS.

In June 2008, Orange Savings Bank was targeted and later, on July 1, 2008, the Franklin Bank. consumers were getting e-mails, phone calls as well as text messages, some even in late night hours, asking for sensitive private information.

People reporting of receiving text messages and e-mails said that the messages talked about a supposed problem detected in the recipient's account. The messages direct the users to click on a link included in the e-mail to provide the latest account details in order to rectify the problem. However, the link actually takes the recipient to a malicious Website where personal information like PIN and account number is compromised.

The phony e-mails also persuade the user to open a hyperlink to view the complaint, but according to authorities, if the user clicks on the link, virus is downloaded onto his computer. This virus hides itself in a screensaver file so that normal anti-virus software would miss it during an inspection.

Meanwhile, the BBB has contacted Franklin Bank and Orange Savings Bank regarding the phishing scams and the banks are making all efforts to educate their clients to avoid the e-mails and not give out any information.

The BBB is also warning users to be wary of uninvited e-mails. The agency advises them to avoid clicking on links within e-mails arriving from unknown sources as the trick is a widely used method of diverting victims to malicious phishing sites. It further said that in case a message appears genuine, the user should call the actual bank or the financial organization whose name might be spoofed, and verify the situation.

And, while the phishing assaults are growing in numbers against banks worldwide, another bank namely Andrew Johnson Bank was attacked in mid-June. Although the phishing e-mail in the incident appeared to connect to the online banking service of the bank, it actually diverted consumers to a hoax Website that solicits account information.

Related article: BBA Outlines Steps To Ward Off Online Fraud

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