It is really a no brainer! Email scams are very common and extremely popular. This is more so if you are online most of the time. When it comes to online scams, there really aren’t many options to choose from. You either believe it or you don’t. And almost all who believed them have been duped!

Phishing Scams

Chances are, these scams come in the form of emails. There is never any free lunch in this world. If you receive any email, no matter how trustworthy the source is, which asks you to share information which can be personal or worse still, to transfer some money, you know you must just DELETE the mail. It is as simple as that!

Rule of thumb

The common rules apply or apply common-sense. When it comes to your money:

  1. You must not send any money to any stranger, no matter how little the amount is. Despite being one of the lamest excuses, the gullible are still falling prey to these scams.
  2. Keep your information to yourself, especially the sensitive ones.
  3. Don’t click on hyperlinks, especially when are attached in your email.
  4. Be wary about new online retailers, only buy from trusted sources
  5. Do not simply download software. Only those that are legal and credible ones.

Now the big one!

In a recent report by the FBI, a new phishing attempt that uses a business-email scheme has successfully siphoned about USD5.2 billion in 3 years. In fact, the recent revelations showed that each time a hacker succeeded in a scheme, the average loss is about USD130,000.
This is a stark contrast to a conventional bank robbery which if successful could only incur a loss of an average of USD3,800 each time. So how does the hackers do it?

By interception and phishing

This is the most common method employed by hackers. Phishing is among the most common tools used. They impersonate banking websites, send out an email with the hyperlink which will direct you to their site that looks identical to the bank’s. When you log in, all the information is captured by the hacker.

Ransomware the new hacking

Hackers who now keeps the data of firms in return for money will use it again. It was found that firms that were targeted in the business-email schemes were actually previous ransomware victims. In the US alone, there were more than 36 million records breached while more than 15 million victims were recorded in a single year.

What about Malaysia?

Such incidents are not only prevalent in countries like the US and UK. With more online investments being popular these days like Bitcoins and cryptcurrency, more Malaysians are falling victims despite knowing the risks. The top 3 most common scams in Malaysia are:

  1. Work from home scams
  2. Internet auctions
  3. Facebook password hacking (which often leads to identity theft)

With that in mind, think twice when you set your password and do not be too gullible when it comes to money.