- Photo for illustration purposes only -

Published on Thursday, September 16, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Fraud and Cybercrime Prosecutor's Office reported a recent scam that seeks to rob clients of the private bank BAC San José.

According to specialists, the scam method, so-called phishing, has been detected by malicious emails using the BAC Credomatic card logo.

Phishing is a type of social engineering where an attacker sends a fraudulent message designed to trick a victim into revealing sensitive information to the attacker or to deploy malicious software on the victim's infrastructure like ransomware.

Phishing attacks have become increasingly sophisticated and often transparently mirror the site being targeted, allowing the attacker to observe everything while the victim is navigating the site, and transverse any additional security boundaries with the victim.

Some people have received an email that pretends to be from Bac Credomatic. In this malicious email, the client is urged to enter a specific link to do an obligatory procedure.

As part of the fraud, the mail threatens the client that if they do not complete that process, the card and the bank account will be frozen.

When the person enters that link, it takes them to a fake page replicating Bac Credomatic. On this false page, the client is asked to enter their sensitive data, such as the name, ID and password to access their bank account or credit card.

The crooks with that information quickly access the victim's bank account and steal all the money.

Specialists warn the public never to provide sensitive data, neither by email nor by telephone or text message.

People should be alert and know that banks never send emails, text messages, or make phone calls to their customers requesting sensitive data such as passwords or bank account numbers.

A quick and easy way to find a scammer is by looking at the email address or the website URL. Scammers usually use general email addresses which do not correspond to the official bank's web pages. For example, a scammer pretending to be a Bac Credomatic executive could use an email address from Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, AOL or any other that does not correspond to the official website of Bac Credomatic which is baccredomatic.com.

Specialists from the Ministry of Technology provide the following recommendations to avoid scammers:

• Stay alert. If you receive emails or text messages from unknown senders, do not open them. Ignore them.

• Never click on links shared in WhatsApp to access bank web pages.

• Never answer calls of unknown numbers or anonymous people asking for sensitive bank account information.

• In case of receiving messages from your bank, before responding verify with their corresponding customer support department.

• When in doubt, contact the bank or financial institution directly at the official phone numbers provided.

• Verify on the official site of your bank for listed phone numbers.

• Never reply to anonymous emails or text messages from unknown contacts.

• Never provide by phone or text message your bank account information.

If you have doubts about a received email or text message ask the experts at the National Computer Incident Response Center by emailing, cybersecurity@micitt.go.cr.

Authorities ask for people to report any suspicion of receiving fake emails or being a victim of a scam to the Judicial Investigation Organization confidential line 800-8000-645.

Recently, authorities warned about a similar type of scam  using the logo of the public company Correos de Costa Rica.

What other advice would you give people to avoid email scams? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com

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