It’s not just companies like Wonga that have been targeted by vicious phishing emails and scams; even official government websites have come under attack too. Take the latest news about the Nigerian government website as an example.
The Nigerian government website has recently come under attack from cybercrime criminals whereby the security of the website has been compromised, and then used as a host for a phishing scam.
The phishing scam lodged inside the Nigerian government website
It appears that the Financial Reporting Council section of the Nigerian government website now contains an embedded phishing scam. This part of the government’s website is in charge of accounting standards and overseeing corporate governance. It just goes to show that almost anyone is vulnerable to the determination and inventiveness of today’s cyber criminals.
The scam on the Nigerian government website was infiltrated into the site via the image directory. The scam is designed to ask recipient for their email address, their password and the telephone number that they use for backup credentials. It is basically targeted towards people who use one blanket password for all, or the majority of the websites they visit during an Internet browsing sessions.
It’s a timely reminder to us all to use different passwords for different websites; tedious but essential for best Internet browsing security.
Website of UK phone service provider Talk-Talk hacked into
Only recently, UK telephone service provider Talk-Talk, another highly respected business, also became the victim of cybercrime. In this case it was hackers who broke their way into Talk-Talks website and stole the personal information (including personal bank account details) from 157,000 of their customers.
Australian government websites breached by cybercrime
It would appear that no one is safe anywhere. The federal police in Australia are hunting for a bunch of cybercriminals who specialise in identity theft. It would appear according to the smh.com website that this gang has been hacking tax details of approximately 500 Australian citizens per day. This gang hacks into payroll systems and steals personal details that they then use to lodge fraudulent tax returns.
Other high profile Australian government and service websites such as MyGov, Medicare and the ATO, have all fallen victim to this latest spate of cybercrime.
Potential Wonga SA customers targeted by scammers
The phishing scams that targeted customers of personal loans provider Wonga South Africa were sent out in the form of emails, SMSs, and bogus applications forms. They were all cleverly crafted so that to the innocent, unsuspecting recipient they looked entirely genuine. They scammers lured people in with offers of incredibly low interests; in some cases as low as 3.5%. This sort of low interest rate is only available on long-term loans such as mortgages, so it’s no wonder that people were interested when they thought they could get this sort of rate on a short term pay-day loan.
Here is a copy of a typical bogus loan application form:
But it was once recipients fill in the bogus application forms that the problems start. They would then be asked to pay money out up-front to cover things such as arrangement fess and solicitors fees. Many people were caught and paid without ever receiving the promised loans.
Wonga alert customers and launch fraud helpline
Wonga have gone to great lengths to make people aware of these phishing scams by publishing warnings on their various platforms. In addition they have now also launched their fraud helpline, so if you come across any suspicious looking correspondence purportedly from Wonga, you can call their fraud helpline on 0861-966-424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for help and advice.