Email purporting to be from Australian Internet service provider Bigpond claims that your Internet service may be suspended unless you follow a link to rectify a billing error.
The message is not from Bigpond or parent company Telstra. In fact, the email is a phishing scam designed to trick you into handing over your personal and financial information to Internet criminals. If you receive one of these messages, do not click on any links or open any attachments that it may contain.
Subject: your account has been closed (email address removed)
Dear BigPond Customer,
Telstra BigPond is sending this e-mail to inform you that our service to you could be suspended. This might be due to one of the following reasons ::
You have changed your billing address.
You have submitted incorrect information during the payment process of your bill.
Your credit/debit card has expired.
You have not updated your BigPond profile.
What happens next?
To ensure that your service will not be interrupted, we request confirmation and update of your billing information now by clicking the following link :
If you have already confirmed your billing information then please disregard this message as we are already processing the changes you have made.
See you online soon,
Head of Customer Service and Contact Centres
According to this email, which claims to be from Australian based Internet service provider Bigpond, the recipient’s broadband service is set to be suspended due to a supposed billing information error. The user is instructed to click a link in the email to update billing details and thereby avoid the impending service suspension.
However, the message is certainly not from Bigpond or its parent company Telstra. And the claim that the user’s service will be suspended unless billing details are updated is a lie. In fact, the message is a phishing scam designed to trick recipients into divulging their credit card details and other private information to cyber criminals. Those who fall for the ruse and click the link as instructed will be taken to a bogus website designed to emulate a real Bigpond webpage. Once there, they will be instructed to log in with their Bigpond username and password. Next, they will be asked to update their details by entering their credit card and name and address information on a web form.
Once they click the “submit” button on this fake form, all of the information will be sent to the criminals running the scam. The criminals can then use the stolen information to make fraudulent credit card transactions as well as access the user’s real Bigpond account. They may also be able to collect enough personal information from the form and the hijacked account to steal their victim’s identity. Scammers also often use such compromised accounts to send further spam and scam emails.
This type of phishing scam is very common and has targeted users of many different Internet Service Providers around the world. If you receive this email or one similar to it, do not click on any links or open any attachments that it may contain.
Note that Bigpond is now more commonly called “Telstra Media” although it offers the same service. The Telstra website includes information about such phishing attacks.
Last updated: April 1, 2017
First published: June 28, 2012
By Brett M. Christensen