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Westpac Internet Banking Customers Deceived via Phishing E-Mail

A sophisticated phishing scam has targeted the customers of Westpac bank (Australia) in an attempt to trick them into divulging their account number and password. The fake e-mail contains a link that redirects customers to a fraudulent website where they are asked to provide their banking details.

The phishing e-mails says that the customer's access to the online banking service of Westpac has been disabled for the time-being because of multiple failed login attempts. The e-mail highlights that the bank's prime concern is to safeguard the privacy of their banking network, thus the online banking account of the user has been suspended as a preventive measure. Finally, it asks user to verify his identity in order to restore the netbanking service.

On June 9, 2010, accounts of nearly 50 Westpac customers were found disabled after they had clicked on a link contained in the e-mail that diverted them to a fake Westpac website. Though, it remains unclear whether scammers have stolen any money or not.

In a bid to appear legitimate, the bogus website includes words "Monthly Security Check" along with a Westpac symbol.

Emma Copeman, Westpac spokeswoman, confirmed that that the e-mails were completely fake and informed that the bank had never asked customers for their online banking passwords or to confirm their log-in details through an e-mail, as per the news published by smh.com.au on June 9, 2010.

According to security experts, any such e-mails allegedly from banks should be deleted right away.

Surprisingly, several non-Westpac customers also received the fake e-mail. In this regard, security experts said that scammers sent mass e-mails in a "hit or miss" style.

Westpac spokesman David Lording stated that the security experts of the bank discovered the scam on the morning of June 9, 2010, reported hearldsun.com.au on June 9, 2010. He added they had already initiated the procedure to take down the fake website.

The Federal Police of Australia and security experts are jointly working to get rid of the fraudulent website. The scam is believed to be masterminded by international cyber criminals.

Related article: Westpac Customers Alerted About Phishing E-Mail

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