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Standard Bank & Absa Customers Receive Phishing E-mails

Phishers are targeting Standard Bank customers under a new scam within few days of a similar attack against Absa customers who were sent e-mails that requested them to validate their online bank accounts.

The phishing e-mail sent to Standard Bank clients asks them to update their online information as a mandatory action. It claims that with this update, the customers' accounts will be free from fraudulent activities. It also warns clients in rather weak English that those failing to supply the information will find their accounts suspended.

Experts in the industry are concerned that this is another clear case of phishing where miscreants are trying to use Internet data to rob users' bank accounts. The experts think that even though banks are improving their security mechanisms, they don't seem to stop fraudsters.

Spokesmen of South Africa's four major banks - Nedbank, First National Bank, Standard Bank and Absa have repeatedly reminded their customers that they never request clients for information via e-mail.

Standard Bank is currently showing on its site eleven specimens of fraudulent e-mails that were sent to its clients. The list, which includes e-mails with headers, "Important: Verification of home address and "Your Online Banking Profile has been blocked" now adds to it the current scam e-mail: "Alert: Compulsory Internet Banking Update".

Absa has also cautioned its customers about a more sophisticated phishing scheme this time. This is after some customers received e-mail apparently from Absa asking them to update their Internet banking details to upgrade the safety of their accounts.

The e-mail message, which has the logo of Absa, talks about the bank's commitment to ensure protected online services. It also informs that the bank's transactions are secured via encryption. In addition, its Internet servers have full protection with intrusion detection devices and firewalls in place.

But when the user responds, criminals gain access to his online banking account that enables them to withdraw money directly or make an electronic transfer of it.

Absa said that it regarded the e-mail scam seriously and reiterated that just like any other bank, it too never seeks personal account information from customers via e-mail.

Related article: Standard Bank Cautions Customers About Fake E-mails

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