Standard Bank warns of ‘phishy’ e-mails

2010-05-05 00:00

STANDARD Bank is warning its customers to be wary of e-mails which ask recipients to enter personal information by following a link.

The newest fraudulent e-mail — which carries the official Standard Bank logo, disclaimer and contact details — asks the recipient to “confirm your Standard Bank account now to enjoy the benefits of Internet banking and finance and to avoid fraudulent activities on your account”.

A link — http://standardbankonlineinformationupdate.info — is provi­ded and users are ensured “encryption is used to protect the transmission of your personal information when completing online application forms”.

Marteen Hargovan of Standard Bank’s Internet Banking division confirmed that the e-mail and link are fraudulent, saying the bank would never ask any customer to enter details online.

“It is definitely not an official e-mail. Standard Bank will never ask you to click on a link to fill out information,” he said.

In addition, Hargovan said e-mails between the bank and the customer are personalised.

“We will always address the customer,” he said.

He added the bank always cites the customer’s preferred name in correspondence.

Standard Bank describes “phishing” as “the act of a fraudster sending e-mails that claim to be from a recognised organisation, for example, Standard Bank, to mislead the recipient into revealing sensitive information for use in identity theft”.

It is an increasing problem for Internet bankers, because once the personal information is made known, impos­ters are given access to personal accounts.

Many bankers have been fooled by such e-mails and links, as they appear legitimate.

The fraudulent link even has a warning saying “Standard Bank will never ask you to access Internet banking through a link in an e-mail. Don’t fall victim to fraud!”

“The way they set these things up makes it look exactly like a Standard Bank website,” said Hargovan.

He has urged customers to forward suspicious e-mails to secure@stan­dardbank.co.za, where action can be taken against the fraudsters.

Customers who have already entered their personal details into such links are required to contact Standard Bank’s Internet banking call centre at 086 012 3000, and select “option three”.

“If they do provide their details online, they must contact us to advise them further,” said Hargovan.

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