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email, which purports to be from Australian bank Westpac, claims that your account phone number and email address are outdated.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:
Importance NoticeAfter 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 YouI 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 DateHoax-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!