Sara Routhier, Managing Editor of Features and Outreach, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming worl...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Feb 27, 2012

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Several years ago there was a bit of malware called Zeus that targeted unsuspecting computer users’ bank accounts. It was a typical “Trojan Horse” virus, which acts much like the Odysseus’s Trojan Horse—disguising itself as something friendly, only to be exposed as a dangerous entity once it has breached security measures.

The Zeus virus ultimately sacked the hacker’s a total of $70 million before the FBI found and arrested over 100 people involved in this cyber-theft-ring.

But the FBI recently announced a new malware virus that’s again targeting bank accounts: the “Gameover” virus

The Gameover virus is a newer variant of the Zeus virus, but this one is more sophisticated and has yet to be shut down. The virus earned its name because of the amount of damage it does to one’s computer and finances. It has the capability to steal usernames and corresponding passwords, and then bypass banks’ security measures and access a victim’s online bank account. Once thieves access a victim’s bank account, it’s “game over.”

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The FBI warns that the Gameover virus is being delivered in unsolicited emails from NACHA, the Federal Reserve, or the FDIC telling recipients that their bank accounts have a problem. Once a victim clicks on a link contained in these phony emails, their computer automatically downloads the Gameover Virus, and all of their bank account information is lifted from their computer’s storage cache.

Recent investigations done by FBI have revealed that the money stolen from the Gameover virus is being laundered through the purchase of rare gems and expensive jewelry.

Those who manage their personal loans online should be wary of any unsolicited emails. Any email that prompts a personal loan borrower to follow a link should be ignored. Instead, borrowers should navigate to their lender’s website manually, and never access their account through an email’s link.

Some additional tips to protect against the Gameover virus as offered by the FBI are:

  • Keep all anti-virus software running and up-to-date.
  • Don’t click on any email attachments from any unsolicited emails or senders.
  • Avoid any contact with unsolicited job offers

Finally, if a personal loan borrower or any other computer user believes they’ve been a victim this sort of scheme, they should contact and report their concern to their financial institution immediately. Then file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complain Center.