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MBNA 'Request to Terminate Online Card Services' Phishing Scam

Outline
Message purporting to be from online credit card provider MBNA claims that they are processing the recipient's request to terminate his or her online card services. The user is instructed to click a link if he or she did not request such a termination and wishes to continue using the service.

mbna-phishing-scam

© Depositphotos.com/ zentilia



Brief Analysis
The email is not from MBNA. It is a phishing scam designed to trick MBNA users into divulging their account login details to Internet criminals.

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Example

NOTE: Your MBNA card services profiles.

Dear Customer,

We have received your request to terminate your Online Card Services. Your request is being processed and in 24hrs you will be unable to use your MBNA Online Card service. We are sorry for any inconvinieces we may have caused you.

If you did not request for your Online Card Services to be terminated please click on [Removed] customer support document to continue using the service.

Sincerely

2013 MBNA Bank Europe

Detailed Analysis
This email, which purports to be from online credit card service provider MBNA advises the recipient that a request to terminate online card services is being processed. The message claims that the request will be completed within 24 hours, after which the user will no longer be able to access the account.

However, claims the message, if the user did not make such a termination request, he or she can click a link in the message to cancel the request and continue using the service.

The message is not from MBNA and the claim that the account is set to be terminated is a lie. In fact, the message is a phishing scam designed to fool MBNA customers into handing their account login details to online criminals.

Customers taken in by the false claims in the message may believe that they must act quickly to stop their account being terminated and therefore click the link to cancel the termination.

However, the link leads to a fake webpage designed to emulate the genuine MBNA website. The bogus page asks users to provide the account username and password along with the security question and answer details attached to the account. After users click the "Submit" button on the fake page, they are automatically redirected to the real MBNA site and may not realize until it is far too late that they have been scammed.

Once the have collected the information submitted on the fake form, the criminals can then hijack real MBNA accounts, lock out the rightful owners, steal personal and financial information and commit credit card fraud and identity theft.

Genuine MBNA emails will always greet you with your title and surname and contain the last 4 digits of your card number.  They will never use generic greetings such as "dear customer".  MBNA has published information about how to report scam emails on its website.

Phishing continues to be a very common and effective method for scammers to steal personal information. Be wary of any message that claims that you must click a link or open an attached file to update account details or rectify a problem. It is always safest to login to all of your online accounts by entering the web address into your browser's address bar rather than by clicking an email link.

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Last updated: July 22, 2013
First published: July 22, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
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References
MBNA - Reporting fraud
Phishing Scams - Anti-Phishing Information