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Westpac 'Login Attempt From Unrecognized Device' Phishing Scam

Message purporting to be from Australian bank Westpac claims that a login attempt with a valid password from an unrecognized device has been detected on the recipient's account.

Password thief (phishing)

© Carlos Oliveras

Brief Analysis
The message is not from Westpac. It is an attempt by online criminals to trick Westpac customers into handing over their account login details and other personal and financial information.

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Sent: Tuesday, 29 October 2013 13:07
Subject: Your Incident ID is: WES057140487

This is an automated message to notify you that we detected a login attempt with a valid password to your account from an unrecognized device yesterday @

Location: UNITED STATES, MARYLAND, SILVER SPRING,IP= Latitude, Longitude: 85.42842, -98.9004  Connection through: VERIZON ONLINE LLC Local Time: 2013 07:39 PM (UTC -04:00) IDD Code: 1 Weather Station: SILVER SPRING (USMD0370) Usage Type: ISP/MOB

Was this you? If so, you can disregard the rest of this email. If this wasn't you kindly follow the account review link:

[Link to scam website removed] 

Westpac Bank Customer Care

2013 Westpac Financial Corporation. All Rights reserved

E-mail ID: 4323896016319406482

Detailed Analysis

This message, which purports to be from large Australian bank Westpac, supposedly notifies the recipient about a suspect account access attempt. The message claims that a login attempt with a valid password from an unrecognized device was detected. The message lists detailed time and location data about the supposed login attempt. It instructs customers to follow an account review link if they did not make the login attempt.

However, the email is not from Westpac and the login attempt claims are false. It is a phishing scam that tries to trick people into visiting a bogus website and supplying account login details and other personal and financial details.

The listed login location details may vary in different incarnations of the scam message.

As part of their security protocols, some online service providers may send an automatic advisory message if a login from a new device or location is detected. The scammers who created this phishing campaign are aware of such protocols and hope that their tactic will fool at least a few bank customers into believing that their message is genuine.

Real login advisory messages are very unlikely to tell customers that they must click a link to provide account information.

It is always best to login to your online accounts by entering the account web address into your browser's address bar rather than by clicking a link in an unsolicited email.

You can report Westpac phishing scams via the reporting guidelines on the bank's website.

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Last updated: October 31, 2013
First published: October 31, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
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