Taking Back the ID

Avoid the bait

Phishing schemes continue to flourish

On July 23, 2012, the U. S. Community Trust Bank reported that fraudsters, posing as representatives of the bank, were sending out "gift-card scam" phishing emails. The scam offered a "free" $1,000 gift card to potential victims. They were instructed to go to a website and provide an address and other personally identifiable information (PII) to claim the gift card. Here's an example of the email used in this "free" gift card scheme:

Dear Subject name,

On behalf of Community Trust Bank you have been issued a $1,000 Visa Gift Card free of charge.

Card type: Visa Gift Card
Issued to: Subject Name
Issuing branch: Ruston, Louisiana
Valid until: 08/2015

Please use the following website to claim your card and have it shipped to the address of your choosing:

Go to:

Note that claims must be made within 48 hours from this email being sent, or the above link will become invalid.

Sincerely, Rachel
Customer Service
Employee Benefits Center, LLC

This phishing scheme is typical of others; fraudsters use them to prompt victims to provide such PII as checking account or credit card numbers, which the fraudsters use to commit fraud. If the recipient also clicks on a provided link, malicious malware will download onto the recipient's computer. When the victim initiates an online banking session the embedded malware will allow the fraudster to transfer money out of the victim's bank account.

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