This is an update to my earlier article "Bogus E-mail Warning Messages" that is available at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2008/12/bogus-e-mail-wa.html.
I found the following e-mail message in my "spam folder" today. First of all, I never heard of CommonWealth Bank and do not know where they are located. I am certain that I do not have an account there. Next, the message starts of with a greeting of "Dear customer" while I would have expected it to say "Dear Richard Eastman" or "Dear Mr. Eastman."
Finally, clicking on the link that is labeled "click here" took me to a web site that is NOT a part of Commonwealth Bank. It took me to a web address ending in ".ua" which means that the site is registered in the Ukraine although it might be physically located someplace else.
I also noticed there is no space between the period and "In order" and no space after "remain active" and no capital letter at the beginning of the sentence "please use the link bellow and verify your information." The word "bellow" was mis-spelled with an extra "L" in it. That's not proof of a scam but it made me suspicious. Banks usually have multiple employees carefully proofread their messages to customers before sending the messages. A missing space or improper punctuation or any mis-spellings is a sign of sloppy work.
Here is the message I received:
Please note that your NetBank online banking account is about to expire.In order for it to remain active,please use the link bellow and verify your information.
---[End of copy-and paste]---
If you receive any similar sort of message claiming to be from ANY bank or credit union or PayPal, immediately click on DELETE. It is bogus. The return address has been forged.
If you use a Windows system, I wouldn't even click on the link as the scammer site might download a virus or other malware to your system as soon as you arrive at the page. I used a Linux system which is much lower risk from viruses but certainly is still not 100% safe.