Friday, August 12, 2005

Latest banking fraud scam

I would like to start this post by saying that I am not picking on the bank in question. I am not a Wells Fargo customer and haven't been for a very long time. The following should not be seen as a knock on that bank but a reflection of the latest techniques to rip you off and make your life miserable. I assume that similar frauds are being perpetrated on my bank and yours.

This afternoon I received an email supposedly from Wells Fargo stating that my account may be in a bad state and that I needed to click on the link below and update my personal info to be able to send out checks from their home banking site. My first clue that this could be a fraud scam: I am not a Wells Fargo customer. I looked at the extended headers and determined that the email did not originate from Wells Fargo (my handle is mailgeek remember).

I then clicked on the link (this is not recommended for Windows users, or in TV speak, do not try this at home) to investigate. It took me to a site which asked me to log in. I did with utterly bogus info and was handed a clearly (to the trained eye) bogus questionnaire asking me for my check card info and a bunch of other info that I am sure they really wanted to have.

Next, I went to It looked exactly like the screen I got from the link in the email. I brought them up side by side and did a little analysis. The only difference was where the login screen was going to send me. These guys are good.

I sent email to the standard addresses at letting them know and then poked around their site and found a fraud report phone number. I called it. The gentleman I spoke with confirmed that this was a fraud spam message, took lots of details from me and had me forward the email to him. This is apparently the latest banking scam. Please don't fall for it.

If your bank needs you to do something you will find out via their standard site login. They will not send you to any non-standard domain to fix it. If you get an email like this and you use home banking please go login the same way you always do. If you don't get a notification that there is an issue that way, call them. You have probably been the attempted victim of a fraud artist. The gentleman at Wells Fargo was very appreciative of the fact that a non-customer was trying to help their customers. This is as it should be and gave me a big smile. It really feels good to do the right thing to help out your fellow citizens for completely selfless reasons. Try it!


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