Bank and Payment Scams: Bitcoin PayPal, M&T, and Zelle

Bank and Payment Scams: Bitcoin PayPal, M&T, and ZelleiStock

This week we’ve found three new bank/payment scams making the rounds. Read on for the low-down — as well as how to protect yourself.

Bitcoin PayPal Email Scam

Many email and PayPal users have reported receiving scam emails claiming to be from PayPal, in which the user is notified of a large payment having taken place with Bitcoin Exchange — most commonly for the amount of $499.98. See below for an example scam email.

PayPal Bitcoin Scam Email_20220905
Source: Windows Report

According to reports, the emails arrive with a subject line containing an invoice number and the would-be victim’s name. The email itself contains a fake invoice, with the bogus details of the fake transaction. Users are then asked to open the embedded link in order to check the details (or download an attachment). However, if you do so, your computer will likely be injected with a virus. Following this, your personal data will be stolen — and potentially locked behind a paywall.

This is a classic ransomware scheme, in which the scammers will then demand a payment in order to release the data. Paying the ransom will not lead to regaining your data. Following payment, the scammers will simply disappear — meaning you’ve lost your personal information, and now your money too!

The best course of action then, is prevention. Red flags are: grammatical errors, impersonal greetings, strange URLs, and attachments. None of these will be present in official emails from the major companies. If in doubt, contact PayPal directly. Users can also forward suspected scam emails to spoof@paypal.com.

The following is another scam email template:

“Thank You for choosing Paypal for placing your Order BITCOIN.
Your order has been successfully placed.
The Payment will be shown soon within the next 5 to 10 hours on PAYPAL
PRODUCT INFORMATION
Memo Id: CAFV365BNA
Item Name: BITCOIN (BTC)
Order Placed Date: 28th JAN 2021
Receiving Date: Day After Place The Order.
Price: 457.25 USD
Charge Mode: PAYPAL
If you Wish to Cancel then please feel free to contact our Billing Department as soon as possible.
You can reach us on: ###########”

M&T Bank Phishing Texts

There have also been widespread reports of phishing attempts sent to consumers via SMS text messages, posing as M&T Bank. The messages will inform the would-be victim of a transaction, or an account security issue, as seen in the templates below.

SMS content:

  • m&t: your card has been charged $92.1 on applepay. login and cancel here {URL} if not you.
  • m&t bank noticed: we’ve found unusual activity in your account. for your protection, we’ve placed a temporary hold to prevent further unauthorized transactions. please visit  {URL} to secure your account.

The aim is to make you panic and follow the attached phishing link. This will take you to a malicious webpage designed to harvest your personal information. Don’t fall for it!

Scam Alert_Bank and Payment_M and T Bank_20220905
Sample phishing page

Zelle Payment Phishing Scam

Not to be outdone, other scammers have been using the disguise of the payment platform, Zelle, in order to carry out phishing attacks. As above, it is done via SMS text messages. The messages will inform the would-be victim of a transaction or security issue, as seen in the templates below.

SMS content:

  • zellepay
    : there is a temporary hold on an incoming zelle transfer to your account. visit {URL} to rectify.
  • zelle pay: prior receiving an incoming $650, zelle needs an urgent verification on the debit card attached to your account. we have put a hold on this payment. follow the link for your zelle card verification. {URL} c2022.
Scam Alert_Bank and Payment_Zelle Fake Page_20220905
Sample phishing page

Needless to say, don’t follow the links — you’ll likely end up with your personal information compromised, and your money stolen.

Protect Yourself with Trend Micro Check

  • Double-check people’s contact details — and URLs.
  • Reach out to official websites and support pages directly for help if in doubt.
  • NEVER use links or buttons from unknown sources! Use Trend Micro Check to detect scams with ease: Trend Micro Check is an all-in-one browser extension and mobile app for detecting scams, phishing attacks, malware, and dangerous links — and it’s FREE!

After you’ve pinned the Trend Micro Check extension, it will block dangerous sites automatically! (Available on Safari, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge).

TMC_CTA_Extension_2022

You can also download the Trend Micro Check mobile app for 24/7 automatic scam and spam detection and filtering. (Available for Android and iOS).

TMC_CTA_Mobile_2022

Check out this page for more information on Trend Micro Check.

Given you’ll be required to enter personal information on these kinds of platforms, ID Securitywill also ensure you’re never the victim of a data breach.

As ever, if you’ve found this article an interesting and/or helpful read, please do SHARE it with friends and family to help keep the online community secure and protected. Also, please consider clicking the LIKE button below.

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