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I wonder how could people be taken so easily by online scams, read here. I mean there are so many reports on this menace in the newspapers, news portal and reminders from banks regarding updating personal data online, one would have thought many people would be alert on such ruse. And this lady who is some consultant who apparently has been extremely cautious on her online banking all these years was finally trapped and lost RM3000!

I used to have four bank accounts from different banks, one of which is a foreign bank which I have been a loyal customer of for many,many years. The other three are local banks. One of these local banks was CIMB that I opened an account with to credit in dividend of a structured product. Following the maturity of this failed product, I promptly closed the account early this year 2011.

So about two weeks ago I couldn’t help smirking at an email I received in my SPAM inbox about my “CIMB account” being suspended. This shows that who ever had sent the email must have done so randomly without really checking the account’s status (closed for the last 10 months!).

Praiseworthy though is my gmail which had classified the email as a spam and my computer security that warned me that the site indicated by the sender might be dangerous. So For that attempt to phish my personal data I have several red flags flying in front of my face.

As to how the culprit obtained my email address is beyond me though I noticed this particular email address I used for buying things online and doing internet banking and sending comments to web sites is the one which is targeted. I have other email addresses for family and close friends which have never been attacked. I must tell you that particular email address was suspended by Google just 10 days ago for “unusual activities” and I had to go through a series of steps by Google to retrieve the account! Luckily I have other gmail accounts which Google used to contact me. Otherwise I cannot get back to that account and imagine those valuable email information I would have lost!

Interesting though the unusual activities came on just after I was prompted to change the password which I did without thinking ( see despite my cautiousness!) and when Google finally restored my account they cautioned me not to re-use that “changed password” but to enter a new one.

Just like to post a series of photos I took of the attempted scam for the benefit of some of my “scam-naive” blog readers.

The phishing email "CIMB Clicks"

Account suspension - the lure

The red line of warning

My computer security warning is set at the highest level so perhaps this has helped me to be automatically alert as well except that prompt to change my password for my gmail, there was no warning and it looked like coming from Google itself!

Should you wish to change your password in Gmail, you need first to open your account with your old password then change within Google domain. In my case the prompt came when I was about to open my account. I remember now it said that since I used the email address for other sites like social networks media such as Facebook, I should change the password to protect my account (how caring I thought) So I proceeded to change fast only to be trapped but Google must have been monitoring my Internet Protocol (IP) address and noted the abnormal pattern and suspended my email account!

Looks genuine at first glance!

I got this advice as well on opening the scam email

With all the warning coming up along with the scam email, I don’t see why anyone would have been scammed! Unless they don’t have online defence like some of us do.

I supposed if the bank has been warning its customers to be careful about these phishing scams, I don’t think the lady could fault the bank for her unfortunate loss!

I hope my experience is helpful to my blog readers. And in my case Gmail had already classified the emails as spam anyway. I just opened the spam box to see whether some of the genuine emails for example from online journals have been wrongly classified as spam which could happen from time to time.

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