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Internet Safety

A Typical Example of an Email Phishing Scam

Beware of "Phishing" scams. Phishing is a term used to describe what the scammers do to try to get your personal information by sending you an official looking email asking for your personal information. You should never be asked for a password, credit card number or social security number from a legitimate source via email. Beware of official-looking notices that require you to "give up" your personal information due to supposedly dire consequences.

I received this Phishing scam that supposedly came right from CitiBank. It looks real official but read on to decipher this nightmare.

From: Citibank Support
Sent: Wednesday, July 28 1:41 PM
To: Recipient
Subject: ATTN: Security Update! Please Respond

Dear Citibank Customer,
We recently noticed one or more attempts to log in to your Citibank
account from a foreign IP address and we have reasons to believe that
there was attempts to compromise it with brute forcing your PIN number.
No successful login was detected and you have full protection by now.
If you recently accessed your account while travelling, the unusual login
attempts may have been initiated by you.

The login attempt was made from:
IP address: 273.627.087.24
ISP Host: cache-892.proxyserver.cis.com

By now, we used many techniques to verify the accuracy of the
information our users provide us when they register on the Site.
However, because user verification on the Internet is difficult, Citibank
cannot and does not confirm each user's purported identity. Thus, we
have established an offline verification system to help you evaluate with
whom you are dealing with. The system is called CitiSafe and it's
the most secure Citibank wallet so far.

If you are the rightful holder of the account, click the link bellow, fill
the form and then submit as we will verify your identity and register you
to CitiSafe free of charge. This way you are fully protected from fraudulent
activity on all the accounts that you have with us.

Click to protect yourself from fraudulent activity! (Link has been disabled - See Below)

To make Citibank.com the most secure site, every user will be
registered to CitiSafe.

NOTE! If you choose to ignore our request, you leave us no choice but to
temporally suspend your account.

* Please do not respond to this e-mail, as your reply will not be received.

Regards, Citibank Customer Support

I knew that this was a phishing scam for a couple different reasons:

1. I am not a CitiBank Customer

2. I know that legitimate banks will not send you an email with links to click or attachments to open.

If someone were to click on the link in the email, it would have sent them to a web site that looks identical to CitiBanks. There would be a form to fill out asking you for all of your personal banking information that would be submitted right to the Phishers database. What a nightmare. They definitely are getting tricky.

I deciphered the properties of the link in question.

See another example here.

Be careful out there the Phishers are everywhere !!!


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