Email scam could clear out your bank account

NEED TO KNOW
  • Phishing scam aims to steal online banking passwords
  • Official looking email appears to come from the FDIC
Email scam could clear out your bank account

Editor's note: Mario Armstrong is HLN's Digital Lifestyle Contributor. You can follow him on Twitter @MarioArmstrong.

The latest online banking scam is called "Gameover" and it's an email that's been making its way around in recent weeks.

The FBI even put out a warning to let people know what to watch out for. This recent scam doesn't surprise me at all. It only takes these scanners to get .05% of people on email for it to be worth their time. And think how much easier it is today. I mean, I hardly ever go into a bank anymore. With online banking I can do almost everything, from checking my balance, transferring funds to paying my bills. And with hot new apps from banks like Chase, PNC and USAA I can even scan my checks with my phone and deposit them straight into my account.

But with all of these great new features rolling out across bank websites and apps, the security issue is becoming more important than ever. Choose a strong, unique password to bank with is important, something like 10 characters, no words that can be defined and use symbols (for example !&7MJs$5b1). Beyond that, you also want to verify you're at the correct website address and that it's secure (look for the letters HTTPS in the address bar).

The recent GameOver threats mean you now, more than ever need to really make sure that the emails you're getting are actually from your bank.

Here are the basics: First and foremost, the email looks legitimate and appears to come from either the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA). The email claims there's some kind of problem with your bank account, and directs you to a website that asks for your login information.

For one, these government organizations have nothing to do with your bank account or login info, which should be your first hint that something is amiss. For another, the website doesn't end in .gov, a sure sign it's not a real government website. In fact, the government will never send you an email like this; if you have a problem with your bank, you will be contacted through the official channels and official email addresses of your bank directing you straight to your bank's website, not links to click on.

Once the attackers get your banking info, however, it's game over for your bank account which can quickly be cleared out and moved into the hands of criminals.

Bottom line, if you are concerned call the bank or type in the address to your bank, just don't click on links in any emails!

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