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Get Safe Online hosts European #CyberScams campaign in UK

October 17th 2018

Get Safe Online hosts European #CyberScams campaign in UK

To view the Europol / European Banking Federation short videos and advice, click here

Today sees the launch of a new #CyberScams awareness campaign from Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), the European Banking Federation and partners from the public and private sectors, as part of the European Cyber Security Month. Here in the United Kingdom, we at Get Safe Online are hosting the campaign short videos and advice on behalf of Europol. A new topic will be covered every day.

Over the coming week, law enforcement agencies from all 28 EU Member States, five non-EU Member States*, 24 national banking associations and banks and many other cybercrime fighters will be raising awareness about this criminal phenomenon. This pan-European endeavour is being driven by a communication campaign via social media channels and national law enforcement, bank associations and financial institutions.

Following IOCTA 2018 recommendations, the most effective defence against social engineering is the education of potential victims – who can be any one of us when we go online. Raising awareness among the general public and businesses on how to identify such deceptive techniques is intended to keep individuals and their finances safe online.

For this campaign, awareness-raising material has been developed in 27 languages, which includes information on the seven most common online financial scams, and how to avoid them:

  • CEO fraud: scammers pretend to be your CEO or senior representative in the organisation and trick you into paying a fake invoice or making an unauthorised transfer out of the business account.
  • Invoice fraud: they pretend to be one of your clients/suppliers and trick you into paying future invoices into a different bank account.
  • Phishing/Smishing/Vishing: they call you, send you a text message or an email to trick you into sharing your personal, financial or security information.
  • Spoofed bank website fraud: they use bank phishing emails with a link to the spoofed website. Once you click on the link, various methods are used to collect your financial and personal information. The site will look like its legitimate counterpart, with small differences.
  • Romance scam: they pretend to be interested in a romantic relationship. It commonly takes place on online dating websites, but scammers often persuade you to communicate off the platform and instead use social media or email to make contact.
  • Personal data theft: they harvest your personal information via social media channels.
  • Investment and online shopping scams: they make you think you are on a smart investment… or present you with a great fake online offer.

The internet has become very attractive for cybercriminals. Attackers are using sophisticated tricks and promises to wrench money or valuable financial information out of you. Scams featuring a long-lost deceased relative or ‘Nigerian prince’ are no longer the only tricks in the box. Instead, the tactics used by cybercriminals are becoming increasingly innovative and harder to detect. From pretending to be the CEO of your organisation to impersonating a romantic interest, today’s online scammers will do what it takes to get what they want – your money and/or banking credentials.  

As highlighted in the Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) 2018, social engineering continues to grow as the engine of many cybercrimes, with phishing the most frequent. Criminals use social engineering to achieve a range of goals: to obtain your personal data, hijack your accounts, steal your identity, initiate illegitimate payments or convince you to proceed with any other activity against your self-interest, such as transferring money or sharing personal data. A single click can be enough to compromise your finances, or those of the organisation you work for.

European Cyber Security Month (ECMS) is an EU awareness campaign that promotes cyber security among citizens and organisations, highlighting simple steps that can be taken to protect their personal, financial and professional data.

Follow the #CyberScams campaign:

Europol and EC3 Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and LinkedIn
EBF Twitter, Facebook  and Linkedin


* Colombia, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Ukraine