The name Tim Berners-Lee may not ring a bell to the casual internet user neither will the famous quote by one of mankind’s most famous innovators describing the internet “turning point in societal evolution depends not only on the technology but also how we use it.” Furthermore, “the web gives us lots more choices about how we organize ourselves” says the founder of the World Wide Web, now known simply as the internet.
Over the years the internet has become a veritable tool for commerce, business, health care delivery, transport, research, communication… the list is endless. The internet now controls a better part of our everyday lives prompting researchers and observers alike to coin out terms like “global village” “weblog” “blogosphere” to mention but few all which signify the growing importance of this innovation. The internet has been described as one of the greatest inventions in the history of mankind. Whether or not we accept these assertions, chances are that you will send or receive an email or use an internet run device before the end of today and a lot in some time to come.
Everyday millions of emails and web enabled messages are sent across the world. Many of these messages are sent to people around the cyber world who are like the next internet user out there in cyberspace to merit from it – either legally or illegally. Sadly many of these are sent by fraudsters in the ploy to cheat, defraud and deceive unsuspecting internet users. In previous essays I have outlined many of the faults and common discernable errors made by these fraudsters. In this piece I will analyze a typical email I received. Below is a sample;
We regret to inform you that access to your GTBank Online Account and Atm Cards has been temporarily limited. This has been done due to several failed log-in attempts. To restore your account please log in correctly here: http://www.we-pro.ru/finestroy/gtbaccount.html If you fail to log in correctly your account will be suspended for fraud prevention. You will be able to register again for GTBank Online Account only after you authenticate your profile. We apologize for the inconvenience; this measure was taken for your protection.
GTBank Security Team
The highlighted texts are some of the many mistakes the scammers make. A quick glance will tell you this is a typical scam. Here is how to tell,
The term ATM is the acronym for Automated Teller Machine and the cards used to operate them are called “ATM Cards” or simply Debit cards as it is the case in Nigeria and not “Atm cards” Hence any firm or company with a reputation like GTBank will be very careful not to make a common error as to write it in small case letters especially not in a formal email or letter to one of their esteemed customers.
“Temporarily limited” is not technical enough to be sent by an ICT staff of a reputable firm. It is an absolute No-No in cyber language. It is tantamount to a Organic Chemist describing Chemicals as Ingredients – which is a monstrosity. If it was indeed sent by a GTBank staff, who I know are well schooled and trained, the expression would have been; “Access to this account has been temporarily suspended”.
The website the scammer is directing his supposed-victim is http://www.we-pro.ru/finestroy/gtbaccount.html is hosted in Russia or perhaps the .ru is meant to add credence to its existence as a genuinely hosted website. Come on! Of all places, who outsources bank and confidential customer information to a Russian registered firm? No offence to Russians but it is illogical, uneconomical and outright suspicious.
The internet has become a tool used by criminals and so users must be very careful about posting their details on the internet even on social sites like Facebook, Twitter e.t.c. Chances are that some of the fraudsters might be friends or perhaps may share your information with some people who are internet fraudsters. Issues such as identity theft, misuse of personal details uploaded on websites has become rampant because of internet fraud – be careful.
In summary, care must be taken while using the internet. It stands to reason that only then will the internet be used for what it was initially designed for – to be a tool to influence “societal evolution using technology” that has no boundaries whatsoever. It is what Tim Berners-Lee dreamed the internet to be. In my opinion internet will continue to give us a “lot more choices about how we organize ourselves” and the future of mankind. Well said Tim!