• Austria's news in English

Man arrested over phishing email scam

The Local · 14 Jul 2014, 11:57

Published: 14 Jul 2014 11:57 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The woman received an email purporting to be from her bank on July 1st, which investigators said was very convincing. She answered the email and gave details of the data her ‘bank’ had asked her for.

Someone then made several cash withdrawals from her account, amounting to almost €50,000 (US$68,000).

The woman asked the bank to lock her account, and when someone tried to withdraw money on Saturday a warning alarm was triggered by the bank.

Police arrested the suspect in a bank branch in Vienna’s Favoriten district.

Investigators are now checking the man’s computer and mobile phone to see if there have been other victims of the phishing scam. They are also trying to determine if other people were involved in the scam.

Phishing emails are becoming more professional and convincing, according to the Austrian internet platform Watchlist Internet.

Here are some tips from police on how to protect yourself from a phishing attack:

No reputable company or bank will ask you by email or phone to provide personal data such as passwords. Be especially cautious of emails that come from unrecognized senders and ask you to confirm personal or financial information over the Internet and/or make urgent requests for this information.

When conducting online transactions, like internet banking or shopping, look for a sign that the site is secure such as a lock icon on the browser’s status bar or a “https:” URL whereby the “s” stands for “secure sockets layer” rather than a “http:”.

Always check the address bar of the web browser. Often, you only need to look at it to realize that it is not is a real site.

Beware of phone phishing schemes. Do not divulge personal information over the phone unless you initiate the call. Be cautious of emails that ask you to call a phone number to update your account information as well.

If you notice unusual things on a website you use for online transactions - such as spelling and grammar errors, or poor quality graphics compared to the previous appearance of the website, do not enter any of your data or passwords, but leave the site immediately and close the web browser!

Story continues below…

Protect your computer with a firewall, spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Do some research to ensure you are getting the most up-to-date software, and update them all regularly to ensure that you are blocking new viruses and spyware.

As far as possible, do not use the same password for multiple services such as email accounts, online shopping accounts, and social networking. The longer the password, the harder it is to crack. It should be at least eight characters long and consist of a random sequence of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

Finally, beware a need breed of malware, called ransom-ware.  This type of virus will encrypt all your data, and blackmail you for a $500 or more fee to recover it - so make sure you have frequent and reliable backups.


For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Austrian far-right leader brands Merkel 'dangerous'
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party has branded Angela Merkel Europe's most dangerous politician.

Austria 'horror clown' attacks leave several injured
Clown performers are not happy about the negative media stories. Photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

Several people have been injured in attacks by masked assailants dressed as 'creepy clowns' in the lead-up to Halloween.

Brunnenmarkt murder 'could have been prevented'
Locals remember the murdered woman. Photo: Wien Caritas

The random murder of a woman in Vienna could have been prevented if the homeless and mentally disturbed man who killed her had been admitted to a psychiatric institution.

Iraqi family ask ECJ to help them stay in Austria
Kumberg locals hold a vigil for the family. Photo: ORF

A group of people from Kumberg in Styria have asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for help in trying to stop the deportation of an Iraqi family.

The Local List
Five things you need to know about winter tyres
Photo: carmagazine.co.uk

It’s that time of year when temperatures start to plunge and drivers are advised to switch to winter tyres to avoid being caught out by snow and ice on the roads.

Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

Austrian churches slam far-right's 'God' slogan
Campaign poster for Norbert Hofer. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austrian church officials have denounced far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer for "instrumentalising" God in a new slogan.

'Scary clown' pushes 14-year-old off his bike in Salzburg
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

A 14-year-old boy in Salzburg has been injured after being pushed off his bike by an individual dressed as a scary clown.

Police puzzled by random stabbing of teenager in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed near his home in the Vienna district of Liesing on Friday morning by a complete stranger has spoken to the police.

'Sensational' 300-year-old Madonna found in Burgenland
The head of the statue was found beside the body. Photo: ORF

A 300-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary has been found hidden in a chapel next to a Catholic church in Loretto, Burgenland.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available