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The Association of Banks in Bulgaria and its members take part in an information campaign of Europol against cyber scams

17 October 2018

Bulgarian banks take part in an information campaign against the seven most popular types of financial scams that are threatening online consumers. The campaign, organized by Europol, the European Banking Federation and partner organizations of the private and public sectors, has started today and is part of the European Cyber Security Month.

Participants in the campaign, which will continue from 17th to 23rd October, include law enforcement authorities from all 28 member states of the EU and 5 countries outside of the EU, as well as 24 European banking associations.

The Association of Banks in Bulgaria and its members participate in the campaign by announcing and spreading among the clients of the banks animated and video materials that contain information about the most common types of scams online and tips how to avoid them. The types of scams described in those materials include:

  • CEO fraud – scammers introduce themselves as heads of an organization and deceive a person into paying a forged invoice or into making an unauthorized transfer from the company’s business account.
  • Invoice fraud – scammers get in touch with a person, presenting themselves as suppliers or creditors. They try to mislead the person into paying a pending invoice to a wrong bank account controlled by them.
  • Phishing/Smishing/Vishing – a person receives a fake call, SMS or email attempting to trick the person into sharing his/her personal and/or financial information, which is then used for criminal purposes.
  • Spoofed bank – scammers use phishing emails containing a link to a fake website that looks almost exactly like the bank’s real website. Thus they aim at gathering personal and financial data about a person for abusive purposes.
  • Romance scams – scammers pretend to be interested in a romantic relationship and seek their victims in online dating websites. They may also use social networking sites or emails to get in touch with a person in order to obtain money and/or data and/or for blackmailing purposes.
  • Personal data theft through social networking sites – scammers gather personal data about a person through social media, and these data may be used by the criminals to get access to bank accounts, to receive a loan or to commit other illegal activity on behalf of the person.
  • Investment scams and online shopping scams – a tempting offer is made related to profitable investment opportunities or a very good bargain in order to make a person respond.

The Internet is quite appealing to cyber criminals, who adapt quickly to consumers’ changing habits, and the Internet environment provides new opportunities for scams. Scammers use elaborate tricks, alluring promises and offers to obtain money or valuable financial information from unsuspecting people. Scams related to a relative who has passed away a long time ago or the well-known ‘Nigerian prince’ scheme are far from being the only tricks. Tactics used by cyber criminals are getting more and more innovative, complex and hard to recognize.

Social engineering continues to be the basis for a variety of cybercrimes, and phishing is the most common means of committing this crime. Criminals use social engineering to achieve a number of goals: to obtain personal data, to operate with other people’s bank accounts, to steal identity and for other illegal actions. The most efficient protection against social engineering is to educate potential victims, as virtually any Internet user could become a victim. 

The Association of Banks in Bulgaria and its members are committed to increase the awareness of society about identifying such fraudulent techniques when using the Internet environment and to support all interested institutions and organizations in their efforts to protect people from becoming victims of financial or other crimes.

Further information about the most common types of cybercrimes can be found in the following materials as well as on the websites of the banking institutions and their social media profiles.

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