The bank scam is one of the more dangerous scams out there. You've probably seen them, and thought they were quite stupid. But they aren't.
Why do you think they are stupid? Because the bank scam warns you about someone trying to access your bank account, and you think to yourself, "I don't even have an account with bank X!" So you roll your eyes, press the delete key, and continue on with your daily routine.
But the scammer is actually not as stupid as you think. He realizes that, although he's sending the scam out to thousands of people, and of those thousands, only a handful actually do their banking at the particular bank he's writing about, it only takes one or two bank clients to make him a good sum of money.
And if you've ever received an email that appears to be from your bank, and even has your bank logo on it, and looks exactly like the emails you really do get from your bank, you know the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach as you think, "Oh, no, someone is trying to get my money."
It's ironic, because someone is trying to get your money...it's just that the person trying to get your money is the person who is sending you the email!
The email will provide you a web link to click, and when you click it, you will arrive at a site which looks just like your bank's site. But it is NOT your bank's site. The scammer has worked hard to make a site which looks just like your bank's site.
Once you arrive there, you will be asked to "login" using your account login information. Of course, the trick is, once you've entered that information, the scammer can then go to the real bank site and use your login information to access your real account.
The key to avoiding getting tricked by this scam is to never click the web link in an email you receive. You know your bank's web address. Type it into the web browser yourself.
Bank Scam Sample
Dear valued LaSalle customer.
We recently noticed one or more attempts to login into your LaSalle Bank online banking account from a foreign IP address and we have reasons to believe that your account was hijacked by a third party without your notification.
If you recently logged into your account while traveling to a foreign country, the unusual login attempts may have been made by you.
However if you are the rightful owner of the account, click on the link below and submit as we are trying to verify your account information. (In case you are not enrolled use your Social Security number as you User ID and the first six digits of your Social Security number as a password).
Click on this reference: Lasalle Bank
The login attempt was made from ip: 03.32.49.46
ISP Host: 66268.rev.o1.com
IF YOU CHOOSE TO IGNORE OUR REQUEST, WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO TEMPORARILY SUSPEND YOUR ONLINE BANKING ACCOUNT.
This letter is created by automatically electronic system. Please do not reaply this e-mail.