This ‘critical alert’ email, which purports to be from Australian bank Westpac, claims that your account phone number and email address are outdated.
The message, which features the Westpac logo, claims that you are required to click a link and update your details for account security purposes.
The sender email address and the update link both appear to belong to Westpac.
Despite its appearance, however, the email is not from Westpac and the claim that you must click to update your details is untrue.
Criminals can then use the information you provided to take control of your Westpac account, steal your funds, and commit fraudulent transactions. They may also be able to use the information you provided to steal your identity.
Westpac will never send you an unsolicited email that demands that you click a link and provide sensitive personal information. It is always safest to login to your online account by entering the address into your browser’s address bar or via a trusted app.
The scam message uses spoofing to make the sender email address look legitimate. And, it uses HTML to make the displayed link look genuine. The actual link is different from the one you see in the message.
Like other major banks, Westpac is regularly targetted in such phishing scams. The bank has information about identifying and reporting phishing scams on its website.
A screenshot of the scam email: