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Halifax Bank ‘Third Party Intrusions’ Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Email claiming to be from Halifax Bank announces that 3rd-party intrusions have been detected and the recipient’s account has therefore been limited for security reasons. The recipient is instructed to click a link to confirm his or her identity and verify that the account has not been used fraudulently.

Brief Analysis

The email is not from Halifax. Links in the message open a fake website that contains web forms designed to steal the recipient’s account login details, credit card data and other personal information.

Example

Dear Halifax Bank Customer,

We have detected 3rd-party intrusions in many of our customers account, and because your security is our primary  concern, we have limited your account until you confirm your identity and verify that your account has not been used for fraud purposes.

To access our online account validation form and remove the limitations on your account, please click on the following   link:

Click here to access the validation form

After you complete our online validation form your account limitations will be removed and you can begin using your  account as usual.

 

Thank you for taking your time,

Halifax Bank Security Office.

Halifax Bank Phishing Scam Email

 

Detailed Analysis

According to this message, which purports to be from UK bank, Halifax, third party intrusions have been detected on the recipient’s account and, as a result, the account has been limited for security reasons.  Supposedly, to restore access, the account holder must confirm his or her identity and verify that the account has not been used for fraud. The email instructs the recipient to access a “validation form” by clicking a link.

However, the email is not from Halifax bank and the recipient’s account has not been limited as claimed.
Halifax customers who fall for the lies in the scam email and click the link will be taken to a fake website designed to look like the real Halifax site and asked to login:

Halifax Bank Phishing Scam Website 1

Next, they will be asked to provide name and contact information:

Halifax Bank Phishing Scam Website 2

And, on a final form, they will be asked to provide their card details:

Halifax Bank Phishing Scam Website 3

After the final form is completed, victims will be automatically redirected to the genuine Halifax website and, at least until the criminals begin using the stolen information, they may remain unaware that they have just been scammed.

Using the information provided on the fake forms, the scammers can hijack genuine Halifax accounts, lock out their rightful owners and commit banking and credit card fraud.

The bank has published information about Halifax phishing scams, including how to report any that you receive, on its website.

Phishing continues to be one of the most significant online scams. Be very cautious of any unsolicited message that claims that you must click a link or open an attached file to rectify a problem, restore account access, or update account information.  To be safe, login to your online accounts by entering the address into your browser’s address bar rather than by clicking a link in an email.



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