Feeds

Two-in-one ID theft, fee fraud scam debuts

Nipped in the bud, fortunately

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Updated Scam artists who dupe users into revealing sensitive financial information have applied the social engineering tricks of 419-fraudsters in a new email scam.

Reg readers forwarded us copies of an email they received this morning, purporting to come from US-based e-payment company Swiftpay International (Swiftpay.us), which informs targeted individuals that they have 'won a prize'. Like numerous scams before it, Swiftpay.us tries to trick users into thinking it is a legitimate firm - in this case Swiftpay.com.

In the scam email, punters are told an administrative fee has been deducted from the supposed goodies (sounds familiar) they are been offered. It's implied that further fees will be taken off anyone who fails to enter their debit card details to receive the non-existent money.

By mid-afternoon (in Europe) the site had been pulled.

"Unlike most spams, this is not just annoying, it seems to be a fairly sophisticated attempt at identity theft," writes one Reg reader who'd received the email.

Indeed, the scam seems to combine advanced fee fraud tactics with a ruse designed to get people to hand over their financial information.

The email (copy below) first tells its target that they have a $976.40 payment waiting to be deposited in their bank account, but to receive the money they first need to be signed up as an account holder with Swiftpay.

As an added incentive, it is claimed that they've deducted $23.40 from the account already.

"Following the URL they provide leads to http://www.swiftpay.us/signup/ which is a quite sophisticated and realistic-looking website for a PayPal-style company," our correspondent said.

"The first page of the signup process requests details such as name and address, date of birth, Social Security Number and mother's maiden name. Further pages ask for a bank account number, credit card details (including the 3-digit security code from the back of the card), and ATM PIN number," he added.

The scam is nothing if not ambitious.

Our correspondent (who was shrewd enough not to be taken in by the scam) adds that despite what it claims on the Web site, none of this info would be sent over a secure connection.

"This (to me) appears to be a simple case of attempted identity theft, although it's been very well executed and made to look very realistic," he adds.

We quizzed a couple of scam experts, Andrew Goodwill of Early Warning and Graham Cluley of Sophos, which maintains a database on hoax emails. Both said if something looks too good to be true then it normally is. Users should be wary of strangers offering them money out of the blue for no particular reason, a hallmark of email scams. ®

From: support@swiftpay.us
To:
Subject: Transaction#: 218-185-15792
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 02:01:52 +0000 (GMT)

Userktdinc just send $976.60 USD to you:

SwiftPay UserID: ktdinc
Transaction#:218-185-15792
Date: 12-08-2003

Comments: Membership #0218397 was selected to receive this month's bonus. We cannot send funds directly to your debit card's bank account because our merchant currently disabled this option. If you use your Lloyds TSB debit card, SwiftPay will not charge your card for the transfer, this is due to current promotion; we already deducted $23.40 from your funds for the service fees.

Your E-mail is not registered with SwiftPay. In order to receive your funds you need to apply for account with us and verify your identity. All information will be kept confidential. Please follow the link: http://www.swiftpay.us/signup/

When you enter our service your funds will appear in your account balance under overview page. You can withdraw the outstanding balance to your debit card account that you added during the registration process.

SwiftPay's intuitive interface makes sending and receiving money over the Web as easy as one two three. Simply logon at SwiftPay and select which SwiftPay service you wish to avail of, whether it's to fund your account, send money to friends family or businesses, request money or check your account details. With everything you need available at the click of a mouse, paying with SwiftPay couldn't be easier. Don't forget, we value our commitment to Customer Service at SwiftPay - should you have any queries, please don't hesitate to contact us andd we'll do our best to answer your query as soon as possible.

Kind Regards,

SwiftPay Customer Support

Related Stories

You've got Scam! ID harvest scam targets AOL users
Email scammers target Nochex users
Email scam aims to swipe PayPal users' credit card details
Amsterdam: home of the 419 lottery scam
PC builder takes 419ers for £171

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.