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Citizens Bank Money Manager Account Update Phishing Scam

Summary:
Email claims that Citizens Bank business or corporate customer must update their accounts by clicking a link and filling out an online form (Full commentary below).



Status:
False

Example:(Submitted, September 2007)
Subject: Citizens Bank: Please Update Your Data!

Dear business or corporate customer of Citizens Bank,

Citizens Bank Customer Service requests you to complete Money Manager GPS Online Form.

This procedure is obligatory for all Money Manager Global Processing Solutions™ (GPS) users.

Please click hyperlink below to access Money Manager GPS Online Form.

[link to bogus website removed

Please do not respond to this email.

________________________________________

Copyright 2007 Citizens Financial Group. All rights reserved.




Commentary:
Phishing continues to be one of the most common types of email-based fraud. In spite of quite intense publicity over several years, people all over the world continue to become victims of phishing scams every day. Many banks are almost continually targeted by scammers and Citizens Bank is no exception. Over the past week or so, I have received a number of submissions about the Citizens Bank scam email included above. Using a very typical phishing tactic, the message claims that users must update their data by filling out an online form. The message instructs recipients to click a hyperlink to access this form.

However, clicking the link will in fact open a bogus web page designed to closely resemble a genuine Citizens Bank page. As the following screenshot reveals, a form on the bogus site requests victims to supply their account ID, user ID and password along with other account protection information. The fake page uses Citizens Bank logos and formatting in order to convince visitors that the page is genuine. To further add to the illusion, it also includes menu links that lead to the real bank website.

Bogus Citizens Bank Web Page

Any information entered into this fraudulent online form will be collected by the scammers operating the scam website. These criminals will then have all the information they need to directly access their victim's account.

Citizens bank, or other reputable financial institutions, will never ask you to provide personal information via an unsolicited email. Information on Citizens Bank's Online Fraud Prevention Center notes: Citizens Bank will never ask for you to send personal or financial information by, in response to, or via a link in an Email. Never supply sensitive information at the request of any unsolicited emails that claim to be from banks or other financial institutions. Do not click on links in such emails. If you are not familiar with how phishing scammers operate, it is in your own best interests to spend a few minutes bringing yourself up to speed on the issue. It is not at all difficult to avoid becoming a phishing victim if you arm yourself with the right information. You can read a lot more information about phishing via the link below:

Phishing Scams - Anti-Phishing Information

References:
Online Fraud Prevention Center
Phishing Scams - Anti-Phishing Information

Last updated: 17th September 2007
First published: 17th September 2007

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen

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