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Halifax Bank Alerts Customers of Phishing E-mail

UK-based Halifax Bank issued a warning on March 26, 2009 saying that it suspects an e-mail that pretends to be from the Bank's Online Helpdesk.

The phony e-mail addressing the customers says that the bank suspended their Internet banking services as their access code did not match with the bank's records. However, the user could still operate his account if he clicks on a given link, the e-mail clams.

But on following the embedded link, more instructions come up for the recipient regarding security information and instant activation. In fact, it leads the user to a phishing site where the phishers capture all his log-in details.

Moreover, the e-mail tries to appear authentic and legitimate by strictly advising the user to tally all his security information so that his online service is not denied.

However, Halifax said it does not send e-mail to its consumers to confirm their Internet banking particulars. Thus, e-mails to the Bank's accountholders with words like, "confirm the sign in details," "verify account" or similar such phrases are scams.

Furthermore, the Bank asserts that although its legitimate e-mails might have links pointing to application forms and product information, they would never have a link pointing to the page for the online banking log-in process.

Halifax also tells customers that if they have any doubt about the authenticity of an e-mail message, they must not open embedded link. By viewing the e-mail and/or clicking the link in the e-mail, there could be a possibility that the users' PC downloads a spyware or virus.

Additionally, the Bank advises consumers that instead of opening an URL link within e-mail, they should type in or 'copy and paste' it into the address bar of the browser and then delete the message instantly.

As a measure of precaution, Halifax recommends that consumers forward any doubtful e-mail to security@hbosplc.com so that the bank conducts the required investigation.

Meanwhile, the security specialists said that phishers' attacks against banks to steal end-users' financial and other personal data using sophisticated e-mail tactics were becoming rather common nowadays.

Related article: Halifax Bank Bewares Customers of Phishing E-mail

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