HOUSTON, TX — One of the most popular cyber-attacks is called phishing, a method of trying to gather personal information using deceptive e-mails, phone calls and websites. The goal is to trick the victim into believing that the message is real, to get them to click a link or download an attachment.
Houston Fil-Ams Mila Magno and Arturo Corotan became the target of phishing this past holiday season, when they received a text claiming be sent from the money transfer company, Xoom.
The hackers were able to obtain their Xoom user and email information to make money transfers directly from their bank account. Using several transfers to drain it dry.
“You know you can get information from your bank if it is a remittance, you can tell who it is coming from and who is receiving it. What a surprise… it is coming to me. Under my name.”
The thieves had set up a fake account in Arturo’s name and made it appear he was sending money to himself. They also targeted the couple’s Remitly money transfer account using the same tactic.
“I was checking my checking account and I saw a transaction taking from my account, unauthorized withdrawals, where Remitly release my money three times in one day.”
The attack cost them thousands.
A statement obtained from a Xoom company spokesperson reads:
“We can confirm that this customer was involved in a common social engineering scheme which involved unauthorized account activity… our team has looked into this matter and the customer’s account has been positively rectified.”
Remitly CEO, Matt Oppenheimer, called directly. “Though it is outside of our standard policy, we decided to refund the money he lost.”
To further prevent fraudulent activity from happening both companies recommend to never share sensitive information, even with family members. Be sure to regularly monitor personal accounts, and never click on any suspicious links as it may be an attempt at phishing.