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Published On: Wed, Jan 6th, 2016

Big brands warn against cybercrime and phishing scams

Personal loan website Wonga have taken an important step in the battle against cybercrime by launching its own fraud helpline. This follows complaints about a number of phishing emails and scams launched by criminal-minded cyber-sharks that have been aimed at potential Wonga customers. Of course Wonga are not alone. The most reputable and respected businesses and organisations all over the globe are coming under attack in what is seen as being an easy way of conning money out of innocent unsuspecting victims.

The Canada Revenue Agency targeted by phishing scams

Wonga is the latest in a long list of large and secure organisations coming under attack from cyber crime. In Canada even the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has fallen victim. As a result they are warning Canadians citizens to be especially aware of phishing scams that ask for personal information including things like social insurance numbers, credit card details, bank account details and even passport numbers.

A stereotypical caricature of a villain photo/wikimedia

A stereotypical caricature of a villain photo/wikimedia

Many of these phishing scams ask for this sort of personal information directly while others steer the taxpayer in the direction of the CRA’s website. Once they arrive at the website victims asked to verify their identities by entering certain personal information. The fraudsters are taking advantage of the fact that when offered money by way of tax rebates etc from an organisation like the CRA, citizens often have a tendency to drop their guards.

Typical CRA phishing scam

One particular email scam that has recently been doing the rounds is one whereby emails are being circulated notifying taxpayers that a complaint has been registered against them with reference to their involvement in a tax evasion scheme. The email requests that the taxpayer provides financial information that they can verify. The email does not of course originate from the CRA.

The UK’s Royal Bank of Scotland’s customers fall victim to cyber-crime

According to the BBC News website the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in the UK has recently revealed that between January and September of this year approximately 5,000 of its customers have fallen victim to various fishing scams, costing a total of over £25 million.

RBS which is headquartered in Edinburgh has reported that the average cost of someone falling for a scam has increased by 40% since last year to over £13,000 per incident. The bank has revealed that fishing scams are on the increase with 900 cases being reported during the third week of October alone. This compares with 739 being recorded in the previous month.

Phishing scams can look incredibly genuine. The scams aimed at Wonga SA all included the company’s logo, their registration, and even their National Credit Regulator number. Here is a screenshot of a typical bogus Wonga loan application form.

All very convincing to be sure. But anyone receiving a form like this, that is unsolicited, should beware. According to Wonga SA’s new CEO, Brett Van Aswegen, the only way to apply for a Wonga payday loan is via their website.

Wonga SA has take positive steps in order to try and alert members of the general public about these phishing scams by putting warnings on their various platforms. They’ve even taken the step of launching their own fraud helpline to offer advice and assistance to those who come across any bogus communications.

If you happen to encounter any such suspicious looking correspondence from Wonga, you should call their fraud helpline on 0861-966-424 or email [email protected].

Guest Author: Anwar Hossain

 

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  1. Latest Apply For A Payday Loan News | Payday Loan says:

    […] Big brands warn against cybercrime and phishing s… According to Wonga SA's new CEO, Brett Van Aswegen, the only way to apply for a Wonga payday loan is via their website. Wonga SA has take positive steps in order to try and alert members of the general public about these phishing scams by putting … Read more on The Global Dispatch […]

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