Phishing Threat

Hi,

I recently received an threatening email with a pdf attached.  The email had valid, but old, banking information and my address and telephone number.  The phisher claimed to have my browsing history and contacts.  I have changed my email password and bank account, and am in the process of shutting down that email address.  I immediately did an F-Secure virus scan and a Malwarebytes scan, both found no viruses.  I am using F-Secure TOTAL.  I can find no evidence that any emails have been sent using the email account to anyone on my contacts list.  I use a PC based email service not webmail.  I didn't open the pdf or click on any links.  I am hoping that the phisher was just lying about having my contacts and browsing history.  Without installing a virus, or malware, is it possible for someone to get my contacts or browsing history off of my PC?   There's nothing in my browsing history that's embarrasing, but I don't want them to know who I do business with or be able to phish my contacts.   I am hoping that the phisher was just testing to see if they could get me to verify that the email address was active, and the information accurate.  I sent the emails to your lab for investigation.  If there's no evidence of virus infection, emails being sent from my account, and I didn't click on anything, do I have anything to worry about?  Thanks for your help.

Best Answer

  • SimonSimon Posts: 2,561
    Accepted Answer

    There are lots of these types of phishing emails floating around, including some that claim to have access to your camera, personal data, etc.  Some even produce some 'correct' data, such as old passwords, but as long as you don't click any of the links in the emails, and certainly don't respond to them or open any attachments, I think they can be considered more of an annoyance than any genuine threat.

     

    If you have an email address which is being plagued with spam / phishing emails, one way to get rid of them is to close down the email address, but that's not always very convenient.  If your computer is protected by up to date security software, then I don't think you need to be overly concerned.

Answers

  • KDXKDX Posts: 5

    I cannot thank you enough for the peace of mind you've given me!  It's terrifying to see your bank account number and routing number in an email from a malicious person, so you tend to stop thinking clearly.  I've closed that bank account and will be closing the effected email account, just to take the phishers toys away.   I am very grateful for your time and expertise.  Again, THANK YOU!!!

  • Hello, As you may already know, account and routing numbers are open to whoever has access to a personal check. 

     

    Good luck as I too have gotten suspicious emails in the past.

  • SimonSimon Posts: 2,561

    Glad to have helped.  Smiley Happy

     

    All I might otherwise advise is to perhaps make your bank aware if you think your account details may have been compromised, but I don't think anyone can do anything particularly naughty just with an account number, unless they maliciously want to pay money into your account!

  • KDXKDX Posts: 5

    Thanks New_Kid_2020 for your reply.  You make a very good point.  But, I've never had anyone I wrote a check to, threaten to give everyone my financial information.  Like I said, my rational thinking shut down when I got the threat.  I realized after your post that just because they have the information doesn't mean they can do anything with it.  I appreciate your taking the time to post it, and I love your avatar!  Thanks again.  You helped me get me thinking straightened out.

  • KDXKDX Posts: 5

    Thanks for the suggestion Simon.  The first thing I did, when I got the threat was call my bank and check my account to see if there had been any fraudulent transactions.  I ended up closing the account, just to be safe.  I appreciate your time.

  • I think this is/was my concern in responding. I found through brief research that Identity theft can be the result of Account and Routing numbers being publicly exposed, as they are on personal checks. 

     

    "If someone just has your routing number, that's not enough information to transfer money from your account, since many people with accounts at your bank will have that same routing number. But if someone has your routing number and account number, they can impersonate you and potentially take money from your account without permission."

     

    Thank you KDX for posting!

  • KDXKDX Posts: 5

    That was my concern too.  I did inform my bank that the information had been compromised, and as I said closed that account.  I believe the phisher could have taken money out of my account, but that person would have risked exposure, if they tried.  A bank should ask for some further ID, but that could have been faked too.  I have sent the email to as many investigating organizations as I could, so I'm hoping someone will catch the phisher.  I got another suspicious email to that address today, so I'm going to work more diligently to shut it down.  That way, most of the information the phisher has will be inaccurate.  I think a company I did business with a long time ago, got hacked.  I don't have any evidence that my computer got hacked, but it still puts my identity at risk.  I am working with an identity protection company, but it sure takes a lot of time and effort to protect yourself from the bad people.  Thanks for your input!

  • Yes, exactly...I think we all are in for more surprises unfortunately.
  • bryan441bryan441 Posts: 18
    Please @KDX Read this threat you will get the answer. https://community.f-secure.com/t5/F-Secure-TOTAL/What-is-F-Secure-TOTAL/ta-p/86317 If you are using F-Secure TOTAL then don't worry about your security. You are absolutely secured. For more clarification about your problem, you may contact F-Secure Team.

    Bryan Anderson

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