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Westpac 'Credit Card Suspended' Phishing Scam

Outline
Email purporting to be from large Australian bank Westpac claims that there was an error detected in the recipient's credit card account and asks him or her to click a link to update account information or risk permanent suspension of the card.



Brief Analysis
This email is not from Westpac and your credit card will not be suspended if you do not provide information as requested. If the link is clicked, users will be taken to a web page that is designed to look identical to the real Westpac website. Once on the fake site, users will be prompted to fill in personal and financial information which will then be sent to cybercriminals .

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Last updated: January 11, 2013
First published: January 11, 2013
Article written by Matthew T. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer


Example

Subject: Westpac Update Account Information

Westpac's Update Account Information

Dear Westpac Customer,

Your Credit Card has been Suspended, as an error was detected in your Credit Card information.

The reason for the error is

1. You have changed your billing address.
2. You have Submitted incorrect information during bill payment process.
3. Your credit/debit card has expired.
4. You didn't update your Westpac profile.

We need you to update your information for further use of this Credit Card.

you can do so via: [Link Removed]

If you have already confirmed your billing information then please disregard this message
As we are processing the changes you have made.

NOTE: If this is not resolved within 72 hours, we will be forced to suspend your Credit Card Permanently as it may be used fraudulently. The purpose of this verification is to ensure that your Credit Card account has not been fraudulently used

Regards,

Yours sincerely,

Westpac Online Customer Service




Detailed Analysis
According to this email, which claims to be from Australian bank Westpac, the recipient's credit card has been suspended and he or she is required to resubmit personal information within 72 hours to reinstate the card. The message warns that failing to submit the required information will result in the permanent suspension of the card.

However this email is not from Westpac. Instead, it is a phishing scam designed to steal information from Westpac customers. Links in the message point to a fraudulent website designed to look identical to the genuine Westpac website. Upon clicking the link users will be presented with the following form:

Westpac Phishing Scam

If this from is filled in and submitted, the victim's credit card details and other personal information will be sent to the scammers and subsequently used to make fraudulent transactions. Victims may also be subject to identity theft.

Westpac has published information on such phishing scams via its website.

Phishing is a very common type of Internet scam that continues to gain new victims every day.

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References

Westpac - Fraud and scams
Phishing Scams - Anti-Phishing Information


Last updated: January 11, 2013
First published: January 11, 2013
Article written by Matthew T. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer