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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Western Union Scam
May 03, 2010
Western Union Scam
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Western Union ScamAn email that appears to come from Western Union [an international money transfer service] is circulating that claims that there has been unauthorized transactions on your credit card.
It is a phishing email and is not from Western Union and the claims about unauthorized credit card transactions are false. The message is designed to steal your credit card details. Attached to the email is a form which you are requested to fill out.
This email claims that your credit card account may have been accessed by an unauthorized third party. It informs you that the compromised account has therefore been suspended as a security measure. The email then instructs you to open an attached form and submit Western Union login details and credit card information as a means of verifying your account and identity.
Supposedly, once these details have been submitted and reviewed by Western Union's "fraud department" the account suspension will be lifted.
If you fill out the form as requsted you will actually be sending your login information and credit card details directly to Internet based criminals. Once the criminals have collected your information, they can then make fraudulent transactions using your credit card account. They can also logon to your real Western Union account and use it for fraudulent activities.
What is of concern is the scammers have included a fake web form as an HTML email attachment rather than directing you to a fake website using a link in the message. When the email attachment is opened, the fake form is loaded into your web browser. If you click the Submit button, the scammers will receive a copy of all the details you provided.
By using HTML attachments rather than links, the criminals are hoping to avoid the increasingly sophisticated phishing scam filters that come with modern web browsers and computer security software.
You should be very cautious of any unsolicited email that requests you to provide personal and financial details, either via links in the message or via email attachments.
If you need to access an online account, the safest course of action is to open your web browser and type in the account's website address directly. Do not fill in and submit forms that are included in email attachments. Do not click on links in emails that request you to provide personal or financial information via a web based form.
If you have received an e-mail referencing the above information or have been a victim of this or a similar incident, you should notify the IC3 via www.ic3.gov.
Remember - always watch for scams!
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