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Verified By Visa Banking Incident Phishing Scam

Outline
Email purporting to be from Verified by Visa, claims that, due to multiple failed attempts to access the recipient's account, the account holder must confirm account information within 48 hours or the account will be suspended indefinitely.



Brief Analysis
The email is not from Visa. In fact, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal private information from recipients. Those who follow the link in the scam email will be taken to a bogus webpage that asks them to provide credit card details and other personal information via a fake form. All information entered into the fake form can be harvested by scammers and used for credit card fraud and identity theft.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated: 14th July 2010
First published: 14th July 2010
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: Banking Incident

Dear customer of Verified By Visa

Hello

We have recently determined that different computers connected to your account Verified by Visa, Password and multiple failures were present before the connection. We now need you to confirm your account information Verified by Visa. If not completed within 48 hours we will be forced to suspend your account indefinitely, as it can be used for fraudulent purposes. Thank you for your understanding in this way. To confirm your online account:

The procedure is very simple:
1. Click on the link below to open a browser window secure.
2. Confirm that you are the owner of the account and follow the instructions.

Access Your Account

Screenshot of scam email:
Visa Banking Incident Scam email




Detailed Analysis
Screenshot of Visa Phishing Scam Website Form Bogus Web Form
This email, which purports to be from credit card provider Visa via their "Verified by Visa" service, claims that different computers have been recorded attempting to access the recipient's account, resulting in multiple login failures. The message claims that, because of these possible security breaches, the account holder must confirm his or her online account within 48 hours or risk an indefinite suspension of the account. Recipients are instructed to follow a link in the message in order to provide the required confirmation details.

However, the message is not from Visa or any financial entities related to Visa. In fact, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal sensitive personal details from Visa credit card holders. Those who follow the link in the fraudulent message will be taken to a bogus webpage designed to resemble a page on the genuine Visa website. The fake page presents an online form that asks the user to provide a significant amount of personal information that includes his or her credit card number and card type, date of birth, social security number, contact details and residential address.

Any information supplied via the bogus website form can be harvested by the Internet criminals operating this phishing scam. Once these criminals have their victim's personal and financial information, they can use it to commit credit card fraud and identity theft. To make the scam email seem more legitimate, the scammers have formatted it so that it appears to be a genuine Visa message, complete with graphics, Visa website colour scheme and disguised sender address.

Visa will not send Visa card holders unsolicited emails asking them to provide personal and financial details. In fact, Internet users should be very cautious of any email that asks them to follow a link or open an attachment in order to provide private information.

Phishing is a very common type of scam that continually targets customers of many major financial institutions around the world. In fact, this is by no means the first time that the Verified by Visa name has been fraudulently used by Internet scammers. And, unfortunately, it is quite unlikely to be the last.

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References
Phishing Scams - Anti-Phishing Information
Verified By Visa Phishing Scam




Last updated: 14th July 2010
First published: 14th July 2010
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer