Economic Crisis Hot Topic for Online Fraudsters
According to Tim Cranton, Expert in Internet Safety at Microsoft, during the ongoing economic turmoil, it is likely that online fraudsters worldwide would cash in on the situation by targeting consumers, as reported by ITPRO in October 2008.
Cranton states that there are already indications that cyber-criminals have begun attempting to make illicit gains from the economic turmoil. This is an added trouble to the credit crisis as there are an increasing number of people who possibly are more desperate or unprotected.
Citing examples pertaining to the financial crisis, security experts said that an upsurge was observed in the mortgage refinances kind of internet scams, with malware authors, hackers, phishers and other types of cyber-crooks are engaged in regular operations of stealing personal information from netizens.
Other possible examples include - fraudsters sending spam mails to consumers, directing them to make a payment in connection with the break down of a specific financial institution or bank in recent days.
Microsoft said that phishers and other online criminals are looking to exploit people in the similar manner, as they acted post Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Tsunami and other similar calamities.
Meanwhile, Microsoft conducted a poll recently across Europe on 5,000 people, which found that over one fourth of those surveyed thought they were likely to become victim of an internet scam like downloading a computer virus, Trojan or other malware. They might also become a victim of phishing and lose money, the respondents apprehended. On the other hand, 50% of those questioned said that phishers' scams in various ways made them cautious of online shopping. And 33% said that phishing scams as a consequence of bailout prevented them from using internet for anything and from conducting a transaction over it.
Reports further suggested that Microsoft made collaboration with Yahoo, African Development Bank and Western Union to raise awareness about hoax e-mails, as well as help consumers remain safe from being phished off personal data to online fraudsters. The collaboration also aims at making people aware of the increasing online scams due to the bailout.
Related article: Economic Despair Boost Internet Frauds and Phishing Threats
» SPAMfighter News - 13-11-2008