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PBS Bill Payment Not Approved Scam Email

Summary:
Email claiming to be from Payroll and Business Services Ltd warns that a recent bill payment has not been approved and requests recipients to open an attachment to view transaction details (Full commentary below).



Status:
False

Example:(Submitted, January 2006)
Subject: YOUR BILL PAYMENT NOT APPROVED!

Dear client!

We are unable to obtain the bill payment from your bank account. Your bank returned the following error to us:

BILL PAYMENT NOT APPROVED

BILL #5563880

Billed To:

PBS (Payroll and Business Service) Ltd

[Contact Details Removed]

Total Amount: GBP 755.00

We recently received a report of e-banking use associated with this account. As a precaution, we have limited access to your account in order to protect against future unauthorized transactions. You can check your transaction details in attachment.

Case ID Number: ERROR#5563880

Please understand that this is a security measure intended to help protect you and your account.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Thank You,
PBS LTD.




Commentary:
In January 2006, a fraudulent email claiming to be from PBS (Payroll and Business Services) began arriving in email inboxes. The email claims that a recent bill payment for the amount of 755.00 pounds could not be approved. The message asks recipients to open an attachment in order to check transaction details.

Although the company and contact details may appear legitimate, the email does not originate from PBS. A notice published on the PBS website warns customers to ignore the message. According to the notice:

The email has been sent from an illegitimate source which is in no way connected to PBS (UK) Ltd. The address and company details contained in the email appear to have been taken from our website.
If you receive this scam email, do not open the attachment, reply, or click on any links in the message. The attachment carries a trojan. According to computer security company, F-Secure, the attachment contains a trojan downloader that will attempt to activate a file on an external website.

Reference:
PBS (UK)- Urgent Notice
F-Secure: New trojan download spammed


Write-up by Brett M. Christensen