Bank phishing scam targets users with text messages

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Bank phishing scam targets users with text messages

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued a warning over an SMS scam targeting mobile banking users in Australia and New Zealand.

The short text messages contain URLs that direct the recipient to a fake mobile banking website, which looks similar to the real one, where their login credentials or personal details may be stolen.

“We are warning all mobile phone users of a persistent and sophisticated SMS phishing campaign currently underway that is targeting mobile banking customers in both Australia and New Zealand,” ACMA said in a statement.

“The sophistication and scope of the campaign is indicated by the extensive use of internet domains that closely resemble the legitimate domains of Australian and New Zealand banks. Often these domains will be active for only a very short time, replaced shortly thereafter with another plausible bank domain.”

Customer of many major banks, including ANZ, Bank of Queensland, Bendigo Bank, GE Money, Heritage Bank, Macquarie Bank, NAB, St George and Suncorp Bank, have been the focus of the scam.

“Many banks are being targeted by this constantly evolving campaign and the criminals behind this campaign are constantly refining their messages and the associated fake imitation banking websites to increase their chance of success,” according to the regulator.

ACMA has warned users not to open these text messages or emails from unknown or suspicious sources, to never follow hyperlinks contained in these messages and always check on the authenticity of a website that requests credentials.

ACMA is a government authority within the Communications portfolio that is tasked in ensuring media and communications works for all Australians through various legislation, regulations, standards and codes of practice.

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