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Issue 109 - December 2010 - Page 13

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) Premium Rate Scam Warning
  2. Check Your Receipts - Cash Back Scam Warning Email
  3. Christmas Tree App Virus Hoax
  4. Dan Murphy's 30% Off Voucher Hoax
  5. Warning from 'British Ministry of Health' - Danger From Broken Energy Saving Bulbs
  6. Friendship Inquiries Hacker Alert Hoax
  7. 'Strange City in Greece' Photographs
  8. Iceberg Spotted at Cape Town?
  9. Viral Video - Time Traveller in Charlie Chaplin Film?
  10. Bogus Facebook Rumour- Harry Graham Pedophile Warning
  11. Maria at Dell Hospital Money for Forwarding Hoax
  12. 'Very Important Message' Facebook Spam
  13. Optus ADSL Service Cancellation Phishing Scam Email
  14. Postcard Image Virus Hoax
  15. FedEx Incorrect Delivery Address Malware Email
  16. Plea to Help Find Missing Three Year Old Girl - Jewel Strong
  17. Mobile Phone Medical Equipment Warning - Phone Interference Caused Death Hoax
  18. USAA Phishing Scam Email
  19. Hilton Hotel Job Offer Scam Email

Issue 109 Start Menu

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Optus ADSL Service Cancellation Phishing Scam Email

Outline
Email, purporting to be from telecommunications company Optus, claims that, because a recent payment was rejected, the recipient must follow a link to update account information or risk suspension of ADSL service.



Brief Analysis
The email is not from Optus and the claim that a payment was rejected is untrue. The message is an attempt to trick recipients into handing over personal and financial information to Internet criminals.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated: 9th November 2010
First published: 9th November 2010
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: Optus ADSL Service Cancellation.

Dear Customer,

Optusnet is sending you this email to inform you that your payment has been rejected by our system.This might be due to a recent change in your personal information OR you have submitted incorrect information during bill payment process.

As mentioned above you have to update your optus profile now to avoid service suspension, BY CLICKING HERE.

If you have already confirmed your billing information then please disregard this message as we are processing the changes you have made.

Regards,

Optus Adminstration

Billing Department




Detailed Analysis
According to this email, which claims to be from large Australian based telecommunications provider Optus, the recipient's Optus ADSL service may be suspended if he or she does not immediately update account details. The email claims that a recent payment was rejected by the company's payment system and urges the recipient to click a link in order to correct errors in his or her Optus account details so that the payment transaction can proceed. The message warns that a failure to update the account profile as requested will result in a service suspension.

However, the message is not from Optus and the claim that a payment has been rejected is a lie designed to fool Optus customers into submitting personal and financial information to Internet scammers. Those who believe the claims in the email and click the link as instructed will be taken to a webpage that asks them to login using their Optus username and password. Although the webpage may closely resemble a genuine Optus webpage, it is in fact part of a fraudulent site designed to steal information. Once the victim has "logged on" to the bogus site, he or she will then be taken to another page that requests credit card numbers and other financial and personal information. All information submitted on the bogus site - including the username and password - can be collected by the criminals operating the scam and used for credit card theft and other fraudulent activities. Armed with the stolen username and password, the scammers can also access the user's real Optus account. Given that the scam website may look very much like the genuine Optus website, the victim may not realize that he or she has been phished until it is far too late.

In recent months, a very similar phishing scam has targeted customers of Telstra, another Australian telecommunications provider. Neither Optus nor Telstra is ever likely to send customers unsolicited emails requesting them to provide financial and personal information via links in the messages. In fact, users should be very wary of any unsolicited emails that claim that their account with a given service provider or financial institution needs to be updated. This is a very common ruse that has been successfully used by phishing scammers for several years.

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References
Telstra Bill Account Update Phishing Scam
Phishing Scams - Anti-Phishing Information

Previous Article            Next Article

Issue 109 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) Premium Rate Scam Warning
  2. Check Your Receipts - Cash Back Scam Warning Email
  3. Christmas Tree App Virus Hoax
  4. Dan Murphy's 30% Off Voucher Hoax
  5. Warning from 'British Ministry of Health' - Danger From Broken Energy Saving Bulbs
  6. Friendship Inquiries Hacker Alert Hoax
  7. 'Strange City in Greece' Photographs
  8. Iceberg Spotted at Cape Town?
  9. Viral Video - Time Traveller in Charlie Chaplin Film?
  10. Bogus Facebook Rumour- Harry Graham Pedophile Warning
  11. Maria at Dell Hospital Money for Forwarding Hoax
  12. 'Very Important Message' Facebook Spam
  13. Optus ADSL Service Cancellation Phishing Scam Email
  14. Postcard Image Virus Hoax
  15. FedEx Incorrect Delivery Address Malware Email
  16. Plea to Help Find Missing Three Year Old Girl - Jewel Strong
  17. Mobile Phone Medical Equipment Warning - Phone Interference Caused Death Hoax
  18. USAA Phishing Scam Email
  19. Hilton Hotel Job Offer Scam Email