Europol and banking federation warn consumers of cyber scams

Europol and the European Banking Federation have launched a new campaign designed to raise public awareness of growing incidents of financial fraud and data theft, as part of European Cyber Security Month (ECMS).

Over the coming week, law enforcers from 28 EU member states as well as Colombia, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Ukraine will be joining forces with 24 national banking associations and others to warn consumers not to fall for cyber scams.

The campaign will focus on the seven most common online financial scams: CEO fraud, invoice fraud, phishing and its variants, spoofed bank websites, romance scams, personal data theft via social media, and investment and online shopping scams.

Most of these use social engineering techniques to trick the victim into handing over their personal and financial details, or paying or transferring funds to a malicious third party.

A dedicated site explains the tell-tale signs of such scams, and what consumers can do to stay safe. Recently on October 18, the European Union leaders agreed to impose sanctions to stiffen their response to cyber attacks and to rush through new curbs on online campaigning by political parties to protect next year’s European polls from interference.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel became the latest leader this week to warn against the risk of disinformation and voter manipulation to undermine the May elections to the European legislature.

The threat of a special EU economic sanctions regime against computer hackers, including hostile governments and individuals, as well as fines for political parties, will act as a deterrent, European Council President Donald Tusk said after a summit of EU leaders.

“Such a regime should help to protect our citizens, companies and institutions from all kinds of cybersecurity threats,” Tusk told reporters, referring to proposals pushed by seven EU countries including Britain.

Russia has made cyber and electronic warfare part of its military operations, Western officials say, and Britain, the Netherlands and the United States have accused Moscow of conducting a global campaign of computer hacks against the West.

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