Romance Scam

Fraudsters will feign online romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud. They will ask the victim to send them money for reasons such as “medical treatment for their parents”, or “want to visit you but have no money”.

There is general awareness of the perils of online romances and sending money to people you have not met in person. Indicators include:

 

Email Hijacking

The fraudsters will gain unauthorised access to email accounts. Often these are web-based email accounts such as Hotmail and Gmail where logon credentials have been compromised through phishing, malware or via brute-force password guessing / reset attacks.

Once a customer’s personal email account is compromised, it allows fraudsters to read emails, search folders and locate a contact with your Bank. They then send a query asking for the balance of your account and follow up with an instruction to transfer funds to a 3rd party account. Filters are often placed on the mailbox to prevent them from seeing the scam request.

In addition to financial loss, fraudsters may use information gathered within an email account to commit an identity takeover.

Take pre-caution and protect yourself:

 

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware, that when installed on a computer completely restricts access until a payment (ransom) is paid to unlock it. Ransomware can infect a computer from malicious email attachments and compromised websites. It blocks access to files and data stored on your computer. The user will see a pop-up message on their screen demanding an amount of money be paid for a ”private key” or the data will be lost forever. There is usually a 72 hour deadline to pay the ransom. The advice from experts is not to pay the ransom. It may be possible to recover your data from backup.

Take pre-caution and protect yourself:

 

Investment Scam Boiler Room

Have you ever received cold calls by a professional-sounding stockbroker who offered you investment opportunities that seem too good to be true? It is probably an attempt by the fraudster of the investment scam, also known as “boiler room scam”.

The fraudsters create a market by attracting buyers, whose demand for the stock drives up the price; this gives the owners of the company enough volume to sell their shares at a profit, a form of pump and dump operation where the original investors profit at the expense of the investors taken in by the fraudsters.  Sometimes the fraudsters will pay an early dividend to give the investment credibility.

After the fraud is unveiled, the fraudsters may contact the victim and claim to be a law enforcement agent. They offer to assist the victim to recover the loss but at a fee.

Take pre-caution and protect yourself:

 

Money Mules

Money mules are recruited to facilitate the transfer of funds acquired illegally (e.g. stolen funds) via their personal bank accounts. They receive a small commission for their services and are often recruited unknowingly by fake employment advertisements received via email. The criminals appear to be a legitimate employer and offer jobs such as “money transfer agents”, “payment processing agents”, “administrator” via mass spam e-mail.

The activity may lead to criminal prosecution related to money laundering offences regardless whether the mule was aware of the fraudulent activity or not.

Take pre-caution and protect yourself:

 

This document raises awareness and provides general information only. It may be necessary or appropriate to ensure that measures are taken in addition to, or in substitution for, the measures presented having regard to the particular circumstances of the customer concerned. To the extent permitted by applicable law, ANZ makes no warranties or representations about the suitability, reliability or completeness of the information contained in this document and disclaims all liability in connection with the information contained within this document, or use or reliance on this information, including, without limitation, liability for any loss or damage, however caused, resulting directly or indirectly from the use of or reliance on the information provided. Before acting on the basis of the information contained in this document, you should take your own precautions and consider whether the information is appropriate having regard to the nature of your personal circumstances.