Email address or online account hacking

Advertising messages asking for financial aid are sent from your email address or posted on a social network via your profile. You may be a victim of hacking!

Description of the fraud

  • Your contacts have received an email from your email address asking for financial aid or spreading advertising information.
  • You receive a message from one of your contacts (an individual, a company,…) with whom you are used to working or talking to, which asks you to open a corrupted attachment or asks you to follow a malicious Internet link. You are victim of “spearfishing”.
  • Your social network profile was changed or is sending messages without your consent.

How to avoid the fraud

  • Choose a good password: minimum 8 characters, with numbers, capital letters, lowercase letters, and symbols; a word not found in the dictionary; no personal information (birthdate for example). Try to change it regularly (every 3 to 6 months according to its usage).
  • Secure your internet connection.
  • Call your contact to confirm if he/she actually sent the request or email.
  • Update your operating system.
  • Check all attachment extensions (like .pif, .com, .bat, .exe, .vbs, .lnk) which can contain malicious codes.
  • Check all links before you click on them. One different letter or character can direct you to a completely different website.

What to do once trapped?

  • If you notice an unknown connection on your account or the creation of an account using your email address, report it directly to the social network and change your email password.
  • Tell your friends and acquaintances!