Phishers bait hook with Verified by Visa scam
Bank of America hit with bogus claims
Fraudsters have begun garnishing phishing emails with claims that punters need to respond in order to enrol in the Verified by Visa programme.
Verified by Visa is a legitimate service that adds an additional layer of security to online credit card transactions. Anyone using a card enrolled in the programme needs to use a password in order to complete a transaction.
ID thieves are constantly looking at ways of making scam emails more plausible, so it comes as no great surprise that the new Verified by Visa scheme has begun to appear as a topic in phishing emails.
"Your Bank of America card has been automatically enrolled in the Verified by Visa programme," one version of the scam email says, the Better Business Bureau reports.
"To ensure your Visa card's security, it is important that you protect your Visa card online with a personal password. Please take a moment, and activate for Verified by Visa now."
Links in the email go to bogus sites, under the control of hackers, where prospective marks are prompted to enter their credit card information. Bank of America has many customers, so the chance of hitting the inbox of a genuine customer, even allowing for the scatter-shot approach favoured by scammers, is much higher than it would be for a smaller bank. And Bank of America customers are, of course, more likely to fall for the ruse than those who aren’t.
The email ends with a threat that punters who fail to respond to the ruse might find their card temporarily disabled. Such threats are a "dead giveaway" that the emails are part of a scam, the Better Business Bureau adds. ®
There's better ways
I've been called at home twice by my credit card's fraud department to verify a purchase. The first time is when I bought a computer some years ago -- I was just coming through the front door with it when the phone rang with someone asking me whether the transaction was OK. Most recently I had my collection of motorcycles out being cleaned up and fuelled so I was out buying several small amounts of fuel over a period of a few hours. They called up to check.
A good credit card company will flag a problem immediately by an unusual transaction or pattern of transactions. They're the ones that you stick with.
I've read all of the comments posted - and working for a major UK bank in their Online Helpdesk I have to say that often customers are to blame for losses.
They have inadequate security on their system and end up with a trojan. Trojan either has a key logger or directs them to a fake site.
Either way the fraudsters typically get their details.
I once spoke to one guy who had responded to 3 scam e-mails in 3 months.
Yes, on the debit card front things do get a little more complex due to cloning and so on, but in terms of online fraud I really do believe that customers should be reimbursed in the first instance, educated on internet security and any further losses is their liability.
Banks take all sorts of measures to protect customers, from SSL and Two Factor Authentication (most banks are currently rolling this out) to using fraud software such as Cyota, and using IP logging.
Most banks also monitor the transactions customers make, so if you usually only make transfers for £50 via online banking, and suddenly try to transfer £1000 that would most likely get the attention of the fraud team.
The bank I work for has recently won an award for its anti fraud strategy - but the bank can only do so much.
If you reply to a scam e-mail, then how do you expect the bank to protect you from that? Customers can yell at bank staff down the phone that we should improve the services, but it's like you giving someone a front door key for your house. Would you blame the police for that person stealing your property?
Example of bank "sense"
My credit card statement invites me to check my account online here:
- this redirects immediately to:
...this presents an option "click here to access www.abbeycreditcard.com" - but it actually sends you to...
I was actually on the phone to them at the time over an unrelated issue, and the call centre was asking me to log in to their site via http://www.aandl.com which redirects to a variant of the third link when you click the "Go" to manage your account.
They seemed confused when I told them that the pages I was being directed to, either directly or indirectly were not what they were telling me they should be, but insisted they must be right.