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‘Tangerine Limited Usage’ Phishing Scam Email

by Brett M. Christensen

According to an email that purports to be from the Canadian bank Tangerine, customers are required to verify their online accounts because the bank is conducting maintenance services on its databases.  

The email urges you to click a link to access a validation form. It warns that, if you fail to complete the validation, access to your account will be limited and  “all activity” will be suspended.

Supposedly, Tangerine is upgrading services to provide a higher layer of security to its users.

Email is Not From Tangerine — Phishing Scam

However, Tangerine did not send the email and it will not suspend your account if you don’t click the link.

The email is a typical phishing scam designed to steal your personal and financial information.

If you click the link, a fraudulent website will open in your browser.  The site features the Tangerine logo and familiar orange colour scheme to further the illusion that it is legitimate.

It first asks you to enter your account login credentials. Next, it will instruct you to complete an “account verification” form that asks for your name and contact details, your credit card numbers, and other identifying personal information.

Finally, you will see a message claiming that you have successfully completed the verification and thereby avoided the threatened suspension.

Online criminals can now use the information you supplied to hijack your Tangerine account, commit credit card fraud, and attempt to steal your identity. 

Many Banks Targeted in Similar Scams

Bank phishing scam emails like this one are common. Be wary of any email or text message purporting to be from your bank that instructs you to click a link or open an attached file to verify your account, update information, or rectify an account problem. Your bank is very unlikely to send you such a message.

It is always safest to log in to your online accounts by entering the address into your browser’s address bar or via a trusted app.

Tangerine includes information about phishing scams on its “Security Stuff” page.

An example of the scam email

Subject: 748661 Tangerine Limited Usage

Dear Tangerine valued customer,

Sent to you on: May 17,2017

Due to maintainance services on our databases, we require
our customers to verify their online accounts.

We have upgraded our services to provide a higher layer of
security to our clients.

To verify your online account click on the following link
to access the validation form:

Click here to login to your account

This update is intended for the purpose of protection our
customer accounts. Failure in account verification will result
in limiting your online access and suspending all activity.

Tangerine is a trade mark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence.

Thank you,
[Name Removed],
IT Security.

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,