Outlook and Gmail customers are hit by an alarming new electronic mail menace, and consultants are apprehensive

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Gmail, Outlook, and users of other popular messaging platforms are warned to look out for nasty email scams. This latest threat landing in inboxes around the world is using an entirely new way of targeting consumers by giving up the usual fake clickable links or malware-filled downloads for something much more personal.

Scammers are now sending out emails apparently from big brands like Amazon or Paypal claiming that a big purchase has just been made on the victim’s account.

It all looks very convincing with the messages with official fonts and logos – and this is where the scam gets clever and extremely worrying. The email did not provide an easy way to stop the purchase, the only way to cancel was with a phone number and a message that said, “If you didn’t make this purchase, please call us.”

Anyone tricked into dialing the contact information will then be connected to a real person on the other end of the phone.

Of course, this is not a representative of Amazon or Paypal, but rather a scammer trying to steal as much information as possible, including account names, passwords, and banking details. Alternatively, the crooks could try to trick users into transferring money to a fake account or even try to install a Trojan horse that can wreak havoc on personal PCs.

READ MORE: Windows 10 Warning: Your PC could be at risk if you switch to Windows 11

This new trick, dubbed vishing, has now worried experts on the Kaspersky team, saying that an influx of fraudulent emails has been sent to consumers.

Getting people to call a number makes cheating much more effective and efficient for cyber thieves as they can just sit and wait for the calls to come in. Because of this, this method is likely to become more popular in the future.

To explain more about the threat, Kaspersky’s Roman Dedenok said: “We recently spotted several waves of spam emails, apparently from legitimate companies, informing recipients of large purchases. The item in question is usually to a high-end device like the latest Apple Watch. ” or a gaming laptop bought from Amazon or paid for through PayPal.

“The fraud is based on the fact that the recipients are so alarmed about the not inconsiderable loss that they act rashly and hope to get their money back.”

Kaspersky has now issued advice on how to defeat the cheaters in their own game.

Here are some top tips to avoid this new vishing scam.

• Do not call back.

• Log into your account with the service in question – enter the address in your browser; Don’t click any links in the message – check your orders or recent activity page.

• Check your balance and recent transaction history on all of your cards if you have any cause for concern;

• Install a reliable antivirus to protect against financial attacks, phishing, and online fraud.

What is vishing?

Vishing is short for Voice plus Phishing (as Smishing is SMS + Phishing) and, supported by the mass transition to remote work, has made the phone an important weapon of fraud.

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