WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 – The American Bankers Association has been alerted that someone or a group of individuals sending emails purporting to be from ABA are actually part of a scam commonly known as phishing. These con artists are sending emails asking people to click on a link for more information — a popular technique to get financial information from the email recipient.
Phishing for financial information has been a long-standing practice. However, criminals are increasingly phishing for access to corporate, small business and government accounts and using that access to withdraw large sums of money from those accounts. Clicking on the link could enable fraudsters to download malicious software on to victims’ computers and steal bank passwords and other account information.
The emails inform recipients that an “unauthorized transaction” has been charged to their account using their “bank card.” The amount of the transactions is typically between $3,000 and $7,000. ABA would never contact a consumer and ask for financial information.
ABA is working with law enforcement to identify the source of the emails and to disrupt them. ABA offers the following advice to consumers, business and government organizations:
- Never give out financial information in response to an unsolicited phone call, fax or email, no matter how official it may seem. If you are uncertain, call your financial institution or the organization that is purportedly contacting you using a phone number you know is safe.
- If you have already responded to this type of call or email by providing financial information, contact your financial institution immediately to protect your account;
- Be extremely cautious about clicking on links within unsolicited emails. When in doubt, contact the organization purportedly sending the email.
- Inform the ABA about fraudulent phone calls and emails that use ABA’s name by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.