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CU System
New cybercrime trends developing
MADISON, Wis. (8/16/12)--While cybercriminals focus on making a fast buck with e-mail, texting and phone frauds designed to capture consumers' account numbers, other cybercrime trends are worth noting.

Several new ones are featured in the Internet Crime Complaint Center's  (IC3) latest scam alert (Aug. 8), some offering new twists to old scams.  Credit unions in educating their members to be wary of any fraud, may want to include information about these. They include:

  • Fake political survey.  A multi-choice "political survey" is taking advantage of consumers during the election year, said IC3. The scam involves telephone calls to consumers. After answering the survey, they are told they have won a free cruise to the Bahamas.  The caller, after providing a website address to "prove legitimacy," requests the "winner's" e-mail address for notification purposes and credit card information to cover port fees. The website has limited information, with photos, testimonials, and "Caribbean Line" banner.
  • Online phonebook. IC3 received several complaints about a phone book website, where anyone could post other individuals' information to the site. Some were verbally bullied, saw uncensored comments and false accusations posted about them. Personal information available on the site included: full name, unlisted cell phone numbers, e-mail addresses, direct links to private Facebook accounts, photos and more. The website allows users to anonymously call anyone on the site directly from the Web, as well as track them with a Global Positioning System.
  • Free credit service website. A website claiming to offer "free" credit services such as credit scores and credit monitoring generated more than 2,000 complaints to IC3. Customers reported being charged a monthly service fee. The agreement terms advise that the "free" report lasts only for a limited time. At the end of the term, the website, using financial information the customer provided charged a monthly membership service ranging from $19.95 to $29.95. The Better Business Bureau has given the website an F rating because 1,037 complaints were filed against the business, eight were not resolved, 17 were deemed serious,  and advertising issues were involved, said IC3.
In addition to IC3's report, and of specific interest to credit unions' security staff, Guardian Analytics and security firm McAfee have discovered a criminal operation, dubbed "Operation High Roller," that targets high balance bank accounts from the U.S., Latin America and countries from the European Union (softpedia.com June 27 and CIO India News July 5).

The operation highlights the fact that criminals continually evolve and advance their methods and that financial institutions need to re-examine their security controls and assumptions and not rely just on existing security strategies to protect consumers' data, said CIO India News.

The report notes a shift from traditional man-in-the-browser attacks on the victim's PC to server-side automated attacks. Criminals have moved from multipurpose botnet servers to using servers dedicated to processing fraudulent transactions.

It also said the campaign is global, affects commercial accounts and high net-worth individuals, and impacts financial institutions, including credit unions, of all sizes.
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