How the new WhatApp scam operates with the IFE: they pose as ANSES to obtain the keys to home banking

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A computer security firm revealed the malicious campaign. The goal is to take control of the victim’s bank account and steal money.

The group of researchers from the computer security firm ESET they alerted this Tuesday for a new deception that aims at the beneficiaries of the Family Emergency Income (IFE).

Apparently, the scammers first communicate via WhatsApp with a message in which claim to belong to ANSES and that the user is entitled to the Emergency Family Income, so they are contacted to help collect the benefit.

The courier service allows set up the account as a company to send many messages at once. Those who do not realize the origin of the writer, who modified the profile photo for an official logo, seem to receive it from an institution and not an individual.

Then they communicate by phone and they request to approach a cashier with the card, to act as a guide and bring the steps to collect the money.

“In principle, the criminals have no prior knowledge of who is charging this allowance. The attacks are made by spamming thousands of people, not to say millions of phones, with the aim that someone responds. From that instance social engineering begins to obtain the victim’s private data and carry out the scam, “said Luis Lubeck, a specialist at the ESET Latin America laboratory, to the newspaper Clarín.

During the telephone communication, the victim is referred to different alleged ANSES operators as a distraction and even use the same audio that the official entity uses for calls waiting and thus completely deter the scammer.

Once at the ATM, in case of following the indicated steps and, believing that the code is being entered to collect the IFE, the victim change your home banking password for one that the scammers told him, they hijack his account and take out a loan in his name.

In the case ESET had access to, the cybercriminals requested a pre-approved loan at Banco Ciudad in the name of the victim for 200,000 pesos to be paid in 36 installments. The victim was the sister of colleague Cecilia Bonna, who made a download from her profile on the social network Twitter.

“A user without greater knowledge of those who have access to the IFE and given the economic uncertainty that many people go through due to the current situation that is experienced as a result of the pandemic, the possibility of obtaining the benefit is attractive and allows to fall into the deception of easier way, “explained Luis Lubeck.

Although in this particular case the banking network detected suspicious movements, stopped the transfer and blocked access to account, just after a few days the victim was able to regain access, time in which the scammers had come to transfer 80,000 pesos.

At first, the affected user believed that the money from the account had been stolen, until they found that the scam was actually aimed at a bank loan.

When denouncing what happened in the bank, the financial institution told them that many people are being victims of this scam and that the only option they had was cancel part of the loan and pay the rest in installments.

Scams over the phone or through messaging services grew during the quarantine. They are known as vishing to these crimes in which impersonate of a company or body with the aim of stealing money or sensitive information from its victims.

“Unfortunately, although the scams in which the identity of the ANSES is impersonated are not new, during the quarantine there was an increase as criminals took advantage of the IFE’s excuse to deceive more people,” says Lubeck.

Remember that to charge the IFE per ATM no debit card required.

Those people who are entitled to the IFE, an income that the government provided as a measure to help monotributistas (categories A or B), informal workers, the unemployed, workers in private homes or people who receive a Universal Child Allowance or Pregnancy Allowance for Protection Social, ANSES published a document explaining the means of payment and clarifies that, although it can be charged through ATMs, a debit card is not needed to access the money.


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