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Fake ‘First NetBank Third Party Payment’ Emails From CBA Contain Malware

by Brett M. Christensen

This email, which purports to be from Australia’s Commonwealth Bank (CBA), is supposedly a ‘First NetBank Third Party Payment’ notification about a recent payment from your account to a third party. 

The email suggests that more than $7000 has been transferred to another account for the purpose of ‘Assistance to Refugees’.

The message claims that you can open an attached file to access more information about the transaction.

However, the email is not from the Commonwealth Bank and the attachment does not contain information about any account transactions. Instead, the attached .zip file harbours a dangerous executable file that, if clicked, can install malware on your computer. Once installed, the malware may download further malware that can steal sensitive information such as banking and social media account login details or lock up your computer’s files and demand a ransom to release them.

The criminals responsible for this scam bank on the fact that at least a few recipients will be panicked into opening the attachment and infecting their computers. On seeing the message, some recipients may mistakenly believe that their account has been compromised and thus quickly open the attachment in the hope of finding out more information.

Moreover, to make their message seem more legitimate, the scammers have attempted to emulate genuine Commonwealth Bank notification emails. The first time you make a payment transfer to another account, the Commonwealth Bank does send you a ‘First NetBank Third Party Payment’ notification email as a security precaution. 
However, unlike this malware email, the genuine messages greet you by name and they do not ask you to open an attachment or click a link to read further information. Instead, they provide an overview of the transaction in question and advise that you can check transaction details from within your online banking account.

Banks and other financial institutions are very unlikely to send unsolicited emails that advice you to open a statement or click a link to view transaction details. It is always safest to login to your online accounts by entering the account address into your web browser’s address bar or via an official account app.

Example

Subject: First NetBank Third Party Payment

First NetBank Third Party Payment

Your first transfer to the following third party account(s) has been successfully processed:

From Account: **** **** **** 4924 Visa To Account(s): Monty Boykin 587-136 ***0022 China Unionpay $7,540.54 Assistance to Refugees
Date: 13/10/2015

Please check attached file for more information about this transaction.

Yours sincerely,
Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Please do not reply. To confirm this is a genuine email sent by the Bank, please check your inbox on the NetBank home page.
Message: 337043647



Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer