How do scammers know which bank I use?
September 16, 2004 7:50 AM Subscribe
How do scammers who send email claiming to be from my bank and needing my account info know which banks I use? [More Inside]
posted by shinnin to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
You know the email: “We are upgrading our system. Please follow this link [to facsimile of actual bank’s site] and confirm your account information to avoid having your account deleted.” I used to just get them from "Citibank" and assumed scammers were playing the odds on that one. But today I got one seeming to be from my fairly small local bank. I got the email at an old college address that the bank does not have on file--and my college is in a state where my bank does not operate. The only connection I can think of between the bank and the college is my student loan payments. The to: field has a slight variant of my address in it (usernames are initials and random numbers), so it looks like this was in fact sent to a computer generated list of possible addresses at the college (like 80% of my spam).
I followed the link this time out of curiosity and was actually redirected to my bank’s real site, which did not solicit my info and actually had a warning about spam scams. I presume my bank had already been tipped off and shut this one down. There was a phone number there to report such scams. I picked up the phone, then got confused and paranoid, then went to the bank’s site in another browser window and confirmed the number, then decided to Ask Metafilter….