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Issue 138 - September 2012 (1st Edition) - Page 7 Shopping Voucher Phishing Scam

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Email purporting to be from UK Shop Direct Group's online retailer Very, claims that the company is giving away £50 shopping vouchers and urges recipients to click a "log on" link to activate their free voucher.

Brief Analysis
The message is not from Very and there is no such voucher giveaway. The email is a phishing scam designed to trick users into submitting their personal and financial details to Internet criminals.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated: August 28, 2012
First published: August 28, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Subject: Voucher for you

Very Logo

Dear Customer,

We are giving away free £50 shopping voucher which will reflect in your account,
this is due to the recent system breakdown we had which has caused alot of delays
for our customers.

We sincerely apologise for this break down, please follow the link
below to activate your voucher.

Please do not reply to this message. For questions, please call Customer Service.
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Copyright © 1999-2012 Shop direct. All rights reserved.

Detailed Analysis
According to this email, UK online retailer Very is currently giving away £50 shopping vouchers. The message claims that the company is offering the vouchers in way of apology because of delays experienced by customers during a recent system breakdown. Recipients are asked to click a login link to activate their voucher. Another version of the message which also purports to be from Very claims that customers must click a link to reinstate their Very account access.

However, the emails are not from Very or any other legitimate entity. In fact, the messages are phishing scams designed to trick users into submitting their personal and financial information to cybercriminals. Those who fall for the ruse and click the link to activate their voucher or reinstate account access will be taken to a fraudulent website that asks them to provide username and password credentials as well as credit card details and other personal information. All information submitted will be collected by the criminals operating the phishing attack and may subsequently be used to commit credit card fraud and identity theft.

Strangely enough, due either to laziness or incompetence on the part of the scammers, links in some instances of these emails lead to an unrelated scam website designed to steal information from customers of the Santander Bank. Although the scam emails ask uses to login to their Very account, victims are actually taken to a bogus bank website and asked to "verify" their Santander account by providing a large amount of personal or financial information. Clearly, both phishing attacks are operated by the same group of online criminals.

Phishing is an extremely common type of Internet fraud that continually targets customers of many different companies and financial institutions all around the world. Users should be wary of any unsolicited emails that claim that they must click a link or open an attachment to login to their account and provide information. It is always safest to access any of your online accounts by entering the web address into your browser's address bar rather than by clicking a link in an email.

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Santander Online Banking Software Upgrade Phishing Scam
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Issue 138 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Free Flights on Southwest Spam Emails
  2. Robert Duvall is NOT Dead
  3. Woolworths 'Customer Satisfaction Survey' Phishing Scam
  4. Pharmacy Spam Emails Pretend to be From Vimeo
  5. 'Science Guy' Bill Nye is NOT Dead
  6. Baby With Bong Protest Message
  7. Shopping Voucher Phishing Scam
  8. Royal Mail "Group Shipment Advisory" Malware Emails
  9. Does a Circulating Photograph Show the Approach of Tropical Storm Isaac?
  10. Hoax - Giant Killer Snake Found in the Red Sea
  11. Does a Photograph Show a Massive Spider found in a Manchester UK House?
  12. Hoax - 'Deadly Sanitary Pad' Responsible for 53 Deaths
  13. Boy Shot By Step Dad Charity Hoax
  14. Olympic Tower 2016 - Rio Solar City Tower Design