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Phishing Scam — ‘Upgrade Your Bigpond Account’

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
Message purporting to be from Australian internet and email service provider Bigpond claims that you must click to upgrade your account before you lose “all history access”.


Brief Analysis:
The email is not from Bigpond or Telstra. It is a phishing scam designed to steal your Bigpond account details. The hijacked account will be used to run further spam and scam campaigns in your name and steal your personal information.

Example:
Dear Customer: [email address],The Classic version of our layout will be replaced by our new version on 2017/05/14. It’s time to upgrade, before you lose your all history access.Update your account, clicking HereWhen you upgrade your accountYour service won’t be affected and you’ll keep all your data, folders and history. Plus you’ll get:
faster services
the latest spam protection
Update your account, clicking Here

Thanks for choosing us



Detailed Analysis:
This email, which purports to be from Australian Internet and email service provider Bigpond, claims that you must click a link to update your account or risk losing account access. It states that the classic version of the system’s layout is being replaced.

Message is Not From Bigpond — Phishing Scam

However, the email is not from Bigpond. It is a phishing scam designed to steal your Bigpond email account login details.

Clicking on the upgrade link will take you to a scam website that asks you to provide your account username, email address, and password. After you enter the requested information and click the ‘Send Message’ button, you will be taken to a second fake page that claims that the update has been successful and your account is again activated.

But, alas, the criminals will receive your account details and can subsequently use them to hijack your account. Once they have gained access, the criminals can then use the account to launch further email spam and scam campaigns. All in your name.

Similar Scams Target Other Popular Email Service Providers

This is by no means a new or unusual tactic. Very similar scam campaigns have been use repeatedly to target Bigpond users as well as customers of other popular email service providers all around the world.

Be very wary of any message that claims that you must click a link or open an attached file to update account details or avoid an account suspension. Your email service provider is very unlikely to send a message that asks you to click a link or attachment to provide login details or other sensitive personal information.

For the record, Bigpond is now more commonly called “Telstra Media” although it offers the same service. The Telstra website includes information about such phishing attacks.

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