Internet Frauds & Email Scams Legal Matters

Internet fraud and scams

The term 'online fraud' refers to any type of fraud scheme that uses email, web sites, chat rooms or message boards to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims, to conduct fraudulent transactions or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions or to others connected with the scheme.

Different Forms of online fraud

  • Internet banking fraud
  • Mobile banking
  • Phishing
  • PhishingMule recruitment
  • Shopping and auction site fraud
  • Scams
  • Spam
  • Identity theft
Internet banking fraud Internet banking fraud is fraud or theft committed using online technology to illegally remove money from, or transfer it to, a different bank account. Types of internet banking fraud include phishing and mule recruitment, and can happen through your smartphone, tablet and other mobile devices.

Mobile banking Banking on your computer, tablet or smartphone is so convenient and banks protect your accounts with sophisticated software systems. Criminals know it's difficult to defeat these systems, so they focus on customers directly, tricking their victims into revealing confidential information.

Avoid becoming a victim by knowing how to protect your information and your mobile devices, and understand how criminals use scams to try to defraud people.

Phishing Phishing involves using a form of spam to fraudulently gain access to people's internet banking details. The term 'phishing' refers to the use of spam e-mails purporting to be from a bank, in this way criminals 'fish' for legitimate bank customer's logon information.

Criminals send out millions of these fraudulent e-mails to random e-mail addresses in the hope of luring unsuspecting innocent persons into providing their personal banking details.

Typically, a phishing email will ask an internet banking customer to follow a link to a fake banking website and enter his or her personal banking details.

If the link is followed, the victim often also downloads a malicious program which captures his/her keyboard strokes including any typed information such as banking login details and sends them to a third party.As well as targeting internet banking customers, phishing emails may target online auction sites or other online payment facilities.

Legitimate banks do NOT send such emails to their customers.

Mule Recruitment 'Mule Recruitment' is an attempt to get a person to receive stolen funds using his or her bank account, and then transfer those funds to criminals overseas.

Usually, criminals send out millions of fraudulent job and employment emails to random email addresses, in the hope of involving unsuspecting, innocent persons in their criminal activity.

If you have received money in your bank account, transferred or attempted to transfer money overseas under these circumstances, please contact your financial institution immediately.

Depending on the situation, it is possible that people who agree to participate in such 'jobs' may be prosecuted.

Other methods of Mule recruitment Online criminals are now finding additional ways to launder funds which have been stolen from any bank customers.

The new methodology expands on existing money laundering scams; criminals advertise jobs on popular employment or job-seeking websites, online in chat rooms or through unsolicited employment emails.

In this instance, the Mule receives electronic or associated goods, purchased using fraudulently obtained funds. The Mule is then provided with instructions on how and where to forward the goods, and is promised payment of up to $4,000 per week for their services.

Mules unknowingly ship this equipment off, normally to an overseas address, and are often not paid for this "employment".

If you have received money in your bank account, or have received and/or forwarded goods under these circumstances, please report the incident to your bank and the nearest police station.

Depending on the circumstances, people engaged in the laundering of stolen funds may be prosecuted.

Shopping and auction site fraud Regarding online transactions, it is advisable to select a secure payment service yourself rather than accept advice from the seller. Do not click on links to banking or similar services provided in emails as these may lead to fraudulent sites. If you receive a suspect email, the best course of action is to delete it immediately. Do not follow any links, or reply to the sender. By following a link, you may accidentally download a 'Trojan' or 'key logging' program, which could compromise your security. By replying, you run the risk of receiving more emails from this source.

Scams 'Nigerian letter' or '419' scams, as well as 'lottery' or 'Spanish lottery' scams, attempt to lure victims into a type of fraud known as an 'illegal advance fee'. They typically arrive via email.

Criminals send out millions of these fraudulent spam emails to random email addresses in the hope of enticing someone to respond.

Although the stories in these scams vary widely, after an initial exchange of conversation or emails with the victim, they all usually ask victims to provide bank account or personal details in order to receive a fictitious financial windfall.

The promised windfall may be lottery winnings, a huge inheritance, a multi-million dollar bank transfer, etc. While the windfall payment is never made, victims pay large sums of money to cover various false costs and fees.

As a general rule, we recommend that you apply the standard 'physical world' test to any online proposition: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Spam Spam is unsolicited commercial messages sent via email, SMS, MMS and other, similar electronic messaging media. They may try to persuade you to buy a product or service, or visit a website where you can make purchases; or they may attempt to trick you into divulging your bank account or credit card details.

If you receive a suspect email, the best course of action is to delete it immediately. Do not follow any links, or reply to the sender. By following a link, you may accidentally download a 'Trojan' or 'key logging' program, which could compromise your security. By replying, you run the risk of receiving more emails from this source.

Identity theft A large part of online crime is now centred on identity theft which is part of identity fraud and specifically refers to the theft and use of personal identifying information of an actual person, as opposed to the use of a fictitious identity. This can include the theft and use of identifying personal information of persons either living or dead.

Legal Remedies with which We can help you 1. Filing Police Compliant with the cyber police station / local police station
2. Filing a Complaint with the Banking Ombudsman
3. Filing an Application for compensation with The Adjudication Officer
4. Filing a Consumer Compliant with the Consumer Forum