Home Archive PBS Bill Payment Not Approved Scam Email

PBS Bill Payment Not Approved Scam Email

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
Email claiming to be from Payroll and Business Services Ltd warns that a recent bill payment has not been approved and requests recipients to open an attachment to view transaction details.

Status:
False

Example:
Subject: YOUR BILL PAYMENT NOT APPROVED!

Dear client!

We are unable to obtain the bill payment from your bank account. Your bank returned the following error to us:

BILL PAYMENT NOT APPROVED

BILL #5563880

Billed To:

PBS (Payroll and Business Service) Ltd

[Contact Details Removed]

Total Amount: GBP 755.00

We recently received a report of e-banking use associated with this account. As a precaution, we have limited access to your account in order to protect against future unauthorized transactions. You can check your transaction details in attachment.

Case ID Number: ERROR#5563880

Please understand that this is a security measure intended to help protect you and your account.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Thank You,
PBS LTD.



Detailed Analysis:
In January 2006, a fraudulent email claiming to be from PBS (Payroll and Business Services) began arriving in email inboxes. The email claims that a recent bill payment for the amount of 755.00 pounds could not be approved. The message asks recipients to open an attachment in order to check transaction details.

Although the company and contact details may appear legitimate, the email does not originate from PBS. A notice published on the PBS website warns customers to ignore the message. According to the notice:

The email has been sent from an illegitimate source which is in no way connected to PBS (UK) Ltd. The address and company details contained in the email appear to have been taken from our website.

If you receive this scam email, do not open the attachment, reply, or click on any links in the message. The attachment carries a trojan. According to computer security company, F-Secure, the attachment contains a trojan downloader that will attempt to activate a file on an external website.



References
PBS (UK)- Urgent Notice
F-Secure: New trojan download spammed

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