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ANZ 'Reward for Loyal Customers' Phishing Scam

Outline
Email purporting to be from large Australian and New Zealand bank ANZ, claims that the bank is rewarding its most loyal customers by offering them a gift of $300. Recipients are instructed to click a link and supply login and other personal information to claim their gift.



Brief Analysis
The email is not from ANZ and the bank is certainly not rewarding customers with $300 cash gifts. The link in the message opens a fake website designed to trick visitors into submitting their account login details, credit card details and other personal information to cybercriminals. If you receive this email, do not click any links or open any attachments that it may contain.

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Last updated: November 21, 2012
First published: November 21, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example

Subject: ANZ Customer Notice

ABOUT THIS MESSAGE
Please do not reply to this Customer Service e-mail.

ANZ customer notice
Thanks to the approaching holiday season, the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
is rewarding it's most loyal customers. Given our successful cooperation, your account has been
declared eligible to receive a 300 AUD gift.

Please follow the link below and insert the required information to receive your gift.

Once you have confirmed your personal data, your ANZ.com account will be credited with 300 AUD.

ANZ Customer Reward Phishing Email




Detailed Analysis
According to this email, which claims to be from the Australian and New Zealand bank ANZ, the recipient is set to get a reward of $300 AUD for being such a loyal customer of the bank. The message instructs the recipient to click a login link in order to "insert the required information" and claim the $300 reward. The message arrives complete with the ANZ logo and familiar ANZ color scheme.

However, the email was not sent by ANZ and the bank is certainly not giving customers a $300 bonus for their loyalty. In fact, the messages is a phishing scam designed to trick the unwary into handing over personal and financial information to cybercriminals.

Those who fall into the criminal trap and click the link will be taken to a fake website designed to look like a real ANZ web page and asked to login to their account. Once they have logged in on the bogus site, they will be taken to a second fake page that asked them to record personal and financial details, including their credit card numbers. The page will claim that the users must submit this information so that the $300 reward can be credited to their account. After they have submitted all of the requested information, users will be informed that their account will soon be credited with the reward. They may then be automatically redirected to the real ANZ website and may not realize until it is far too late that they have been on a scam website.

Alas, all of the information submitted on the bogus site can be gathered up by the scammers and used to hijack real ANZ accounts, steal identities, and commit credit card fraud.

Phishing is a very common form of Internet based crime that continues to find new victims every day. The criminals who run such operations use many different stories and scenarios to convince potential victims to click links or open attachments. Legitimate banks are very unlikely to send you unsolicited emails asking you to click a link to supply sensitive personal and financial information. (They are also very unlikely to offer even their most loyal customers large cash rewards). Rather than click email links or open attachments, it is always safest to go to your online accounts by entering the account address into your browser's address bar.

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References

Phishing Scams - Anti-Phishing Information

Last updated: November 21, 2012
First published: November 21, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer