ANZ has issued a warning to customers to be wary of emails which asked recipients to click through to an imitation Web site. The fake site was shut down about 11am last Friday morning, according to ANZ spokesperson Paul Edwards.
Edwards said that the spam and imitation Web site was discovered after the ANZ received feedback from people in Australia who had received the fraudulent email. While he could not put a number on how many people had been sent the email, Edwards said he guessed it to number a couple of thousand.
According to Edwards, it contacted the Australian Federal Police who then liaised with the FBI in the US--where the server on which the imitation site was located--to have it shut down.
The fraudulent spam asked people to click on a hyperlink in the email, taking them through to an imitation site where they were then requested to update security information and other Internet banking details.
When the link was clicked on in the email the imitation site was apparent because its Web address was a series of numbers rather than the www.anz.com, Edwards said.
Dangerous spam has been gaining increasing attention. In recent days, security companies have warned about what they call 'brand spoofing', where a spammer disguises email to make it appear like it's from a trusted company.
Edwards said that this isn't the first time Australian banks have been subject to an attack like this, and argued that the more customers are educated about this the better.
“The more customers that are educated and forewarned about this sort of thing the less vulnerable they're going to be to being the victim of fraud,” Edwards said.
He said that people would be suspicious if they received cold calls on the phone asking for details such as these, and that they should be equally cautious about emails requesting this type of information.
According to Edwards, it had been resetting and monitoring the accounts of people who had gone to the imitation Web site for unusual transactions. “[We're] not aware of anyone who has lost money,” he said.