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a virtual bank card will protect your money

Cybersecurity expert of the Main Directorate of the Bank of Russia for the Central Federal District Anton Shcherbakov told Pravda.Ru what tricks are used by online scammers, why sales are dangerous, why you need a virtual bank card and how to protect yourself and your money from phishing sites and applications.

Sale is a scammer’s paradise

– Sales start in November. Sellers and buyers are looking forward to them. Accordingly, online scammers become active at this time. Anton, how do they work?

– Fraudsters can access our money in two ways:

  1. Social engineering, that is, they tell us something, and after that we transfer money to them.
  2. The technical way, that is, they steal card data or our personal data from us for further fraudulent schemes.

To do this, they can create phishing sites that will copy the sites of well-known stores or look like third-party new sites: they have just opened, they want to attract buyers, which is why such discounts. They can send messages on social networks, messengers. Moreover, these messages can be sent not only by them. They can attract ordinary people to spread information for additional remuneration, discounts. Here, the reckoning is on the mass scale. Sometimes even our friends and acquaintances, who have already, one might say, become involved in a fraud scheme, send messages, because they read that by sending this message to several people, they will receive a discount in this store. Databases of phone numbers, usernames in social networks can also be used.


– What are the permanent schemes that are not related to sales?

– The first group is a sale, New Year, February 23, March 8, the beginning of the school year. In addition, there are social reasons:

  • payments,
  • polls,
  • rewards.

That is, you can see announcements that take a social survey – get a payment, and to get it, follow the link, leave your details. Further, the schemes are different: in order to receive a reward, you need to transfer a small amount (200-300 rubles) as a tax or a commission, and then you will receive a reward of several tens of thousands of rubles; you can leave your card details or your personal data, which, as mentioned earlier, can be used against you in phone attacks against a person, where he is lured with pleasant bonuses or, on the contrary, intimidated.

Since at the time of the call, the person realizes that they already know a lot about him, the level of trust can be increased, and he can start doing what the attacker asks him to do.

He goes to an ATM, withdraws money, puts it into a conditional “safe” account in the hope of saving money, and in the end he transfers it to fraudsters.

Do not lose your vigilance

– How to save your funds?

– First, do not store all your eggs in one basket. Get a virtual or additional card for online purchases and paid sites with some services. Refill it exactly for a specific purchase. Then, in the event of fraud, more than this money will not be lost, because all the rest of the funds are in another account.

– What is a virtual card?

– It is done in the application or on the bank’s website. You do not have a physical analogue of the card, that is, all information is stored in the application or on the website, in your personal account. You can start it in just a couple of clicks. This card is no different from the real one, except that you cannot physically insert it into the terminal for payment.

– How to handle phishing sites and applications?

– Suppose you receive a letter by mail. If the sender’s address does not match the address of the corresponding real store, then you should not trust the contents of the letter.

In applications, pay attention to permissions. When you install an app on your phone, it usually tells you that it needs these permissions to work. For example, access:

  • to contacts,
  • reports,
  • files.

If these are messages that simply collect coupons or promotional codes, the question arises: why does he need my phone book and my messages? That is, this application should not be trusted.

You should also definitely equip all your devices with antivirus software. A good antivirus has a package of protection against phishing programs and mailings. It will protect you from 90% of threats.

If you are trying to find something yourself, pay attention to the site address. It can copy the address of a well-known site, but it does not correspond a little to it. For example, a word can be added, a period, or a character replaced by a similar character. The site may look exactly the same, for scammers it is not a problem to copy the content. But when you try to pay for the product, you will be taken to the form from which your card details will go to the scammers.

There is also a “secure connection”. In the browser, it is usually displayed as a lock, even highlighted in green. If the site is not trusted, then the lock will be red or there will be a cross.

In most cases, the browser will prevent you from going to this site, or the antivirus will warn you that the site is not trusted. If you constantly use the same popular sites, they have an application in the app store on your phone, I recommend using them. Because the application itself connects to the store site, and the replacement of letters or a certificate does not work there. That is, by downloading the official application of the store, you will work directly with the supplier.

Friday is blacker than night: how to avoid falling prey on sales days

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