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Abbey Bank Suspended Access Phishing Scam

Summary:
Email purporting to be from the Abbey Bank requests the recipient to click a link to log on to his or her bank account in order to restore access (Full commentary below).



Status:
Email is phishing scam designed to steal financial information

Example:(Submitted, March 2009)
Subject: Your Online Abbey Banking Access

Dear Customer,

To protect your accounts, our monitoring process has temporarily suspended your online access. This had been done due to the number of incorrect login attempts. At Abbey Bank, we take the job of protecting our customers very seriously, so for your protection we are proactively notifying you of this activity. Due to this, You are requested to follow the provided steps in order .To restore your online access please click on the Log on button below

[Link to fake website removed]

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this action. Thank you for using Abbey Online.




Commentary:
This email, which purports to be from the UK's Abbey Bank, claims that online access to the recipient's account has been suspended due to "the number of incorrect login attempts." The message instructs the recipient to click a link in order to login to the account and restore access.

However, the email is not from Abbey bank. Instead it is phishing scam email designed to trick recipients into providing their bank account details to Internet criminals. Those who click the "login" link in the message will be taken to a webpage that closely resembles the genuine Abbey login page. The fake page mirrors the formatting and colour scheme used on the genuine site. To further the illusion that the fake login page is legitimate, the scammers have used logos and other graphics copied from the genuine Abbey website. Abbey customers who are tricked into logging into the fake page will in fact be providing their account details directly to Internet scammers. Once the scammers have these details, they are then able to login to their victim's Abbey account and steal their money.

Abbey has published information on its website warning customers about phishing scams like the one above. It notes:
Abbey will NEVER send you an email asking you to enter your Online Banking details. Whenever you log on or enter you security details, it should always be after you have visited the logon page through abbey.com. When you want to access Abbey ebanking always type www.abbey.com into the address bar of your browser. Never click on links or pictures in emails, and avoid setting Abbey.com as a favorite in your browser.
Phishing scammers continually target many financial institutions around the world. Internet users should be very cautious of any unsolicited email that asks them to click a link and login to their account to provide information.

Read more information about phishing scams



References:
Abbey - Online Security
Phishing Scams - Anti-Phishing Information

Last updated:18th March 2009
First published: 18th March 2009

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen

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