Revolut is highlighting the dangers of fraud and urging users to exercise caution when receiving messages from companies requesting their personal information.
As consumers engage in more shopping activities during peak seasons such as holidays, mini-vacations or summer vacations, cybercriminals become more active and employ a wider range of tactics to ensnare unsuspecting individuals.
In addition to optimizing financial gains, financial literacy should also encompass safeguarding one’s personal finances against cybercrime.
Tricks that cybercriminals are using more frequently
Aaron Elliott-Gross, Revolut Head of Financial Crime and Fraud, explains: “New scams are emerging all the time, globally. The important thing is to be alert and be prepared to identify any online activity that is suspicious. More recently, we’ve noticed that fraudsters are pretending to represent companies such as utilities, courier or postal service providers, banks, but not limited to – and sending phishing links to trick users into divulging their personal data. These messages appear to be real and sometimes take the form of text messages, are sent from phone numbers that appear to be genuine, or may even appear in streams of previous conversations.
We want to support our customers, to trust that they are making the right choices. Simple – if you receive a suspicious call, email, sms, report the message to the company from which the information claims to come. If you happen to be the victim of a scam, report it to the Police ,” adds Aaron Elliott-Gross.
Cybercriminals use a variety of reasons to get users to click on a link or call back a phone number, and the most common reasons are: to update contact information, unlock a personal account, or verify an alleged activity in the personal account, to choose or opt out of an offer. Often, users who click on the links in these scams are directed to a site or form where they are asked to fill in personal, authentication or even financial data – this is how the criminals later end up diverting funds from user accounts.
How fraudsters try to catch Romanian users on the wrong foot
National authorities are also increasingly active in public education and awareness, as the typology of scams and fraud schemes becomes richer and the methods of action more complex. Including the latest technologies are making their way into the arsenal of cybercriminals.
” The traps have diversified in recent years and with the help of technology, which is advancing at an alert pace. Attackers can, for example, use artificial intelligence to create increasingly plausible scenarios that trick potential victims into providing sensitive data, especially financial data. The texts are more and more correctly written and adapted in Romanian, so that one of the clues by which a user could detect a phishing attempt – the text full of mistakes in Romanian – is no longer enough today”, explains Mihai Rotariu , Manager of the Communication, Marketing and Media Department of the National Cyber Security Directorate (DNSC).
The authorities also show that the attackers’ preferred method is exploiting the context (national holidays, important events at the national or international level, deadlines for carrying out actions) and disguising them as authorities (Police, Interpol, Europol, ANAF, DNSC) or brands with reputation in various industries.
“ Cybercriminals also use certain emotional stimuli to get the potential victim to take a hasty action, such as clicking on a link or downloading an attachment – panicking or rewarding the user to make them less careful in their decision-making process. Despite the diversification of attack methods, data protection in the online environment has remained as simple, if we are vigilant and form a series of online security reflexes, just as we acquired them in real life”, adds Mihai Rotariu .
What cyber security experts recommend
“Just as we check before crossing the street, we also need to address situations where we receive links or attachments. We check them in advance with a security solution, before clicking. Not sure if we should have received a certain message or email from a friend, authority or private company? Before taking any action, we verify the transmission of that information with the sender over an alternate communication channel.
In the case of fraud attempts impersonating banks in Romania, you must know from the beginning that they will not ask you to enter or validate data online following sms or e-mails containing links! When doing internet banking, manually enter the address of the bank’s website you want to visit in your internet browser. This way, you avoid accessing links that can redirect you to clone sites, which look similar to the official ones, but are controlled by attackers. You can even train yourself to avoid such traps online on the website www.sigurantaonline.ro”, says Mihai Rotariu.
Recommendations for users of digital banking services
Revolut is increasingly used in Romania for operations and current payments, for saving, for investments or accessing loans for personal needs, having the utility of a true primary bank account for millions of Romanians.
That’s why it’s so important that we help educate the public every day about responsible and safe behaviors for their funds. Beyond the efforts made by the company, collaboration with customers is absolutely necessary to help them detect possible fraud attempts in time.