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Lloyds TSB Insurance Security email message - it's a SCAM!

Now here's a message with a claim to be from Lloyds TSB Insurance, and warning you against fraudulent email messages! How about that?! The message says "Some customers have been receiving an email claiming to be from LloydsTSB advising them to follow a link to what appear to be a LloydsTSB web site, where they are prompted to enter their personal Online Banking details". Yes, that's true. However, it's a double-bluff, and the message itself is a hoax scam message with a dodgy link appearing to go to a Lloyds TSB web site. This represents a further level of subtlety in the swindling business, which is unusual, but nevertheless it is relatively easy to spot that it's a scam by some notable techniques, which I'll explain after the message...

----- Original Message -----
Lloyds TSB
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 7:31 AM
[your email address] - in our case it arrived at several addresses including Newsletter, form, and an address harvested from the old email page.
Subject: LloydsTSB is proud to announce about their new updated secure system !

Lloyds TSB Lloyds TSB Insurance

Dear Sir/Madam,

LloydsTSB Bank always look forward for the high security of our clients. Some customers have been receiving an email claiming to be from LloydsTSB advising them to follow a link to what appear to be a LloydsTSB web site, where they are prompted to enter their personal Online Banking details. LloydsTSB is in no way involved with this email and the web site does not belong to us.

LloydsTSB is proud to announce about their new updated secure system. We updated our new SSL servers to give our customers a better, fast and secure online banking service.

Due to the recent update of the servers, you are requested to please update your account info at the following button.

Log On  

Once you have activate this service your LloydsTSB account will not be interrupted and will continue as normal.

LloydsTSB is committed to ensure the safeguard of each customer's personal information, making sure only authorised individuals have access to their accounts. It is all about your security.

Accounts Management As outlined in our User Agreement, LloydsTSB will
periodically send you information about site changes and enhancements.

Visit our Privacy Policy and User Agreement if you have any questions.

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG.
Version: 7.5.552 / Virus Database: 270.9.16/1842 - Release Date: 2008/12/10 18:53

The thing is, it's easy to be fooled because the message has the following supposedly "genuine" features:

* It has the official Lloyds TSB horse logo - which scamsters can easily steal, can't they?

* Much of the verbiage is about security, so you might be fooled into believing it is actually from the security department. - a clever ploy, but remember that criminals don't always tell the truth.

* Because the message warns about dodgy emails, it may seem genuine?

* It has a "privacy policy" and "copyright", and such things are the trappings of genuineness.

However, here's how you can tell that it's bogus:

* It did not arrive to the special email address which you used when you set up your account with Lloyds TSB Insurance (assuming you actually did sign up to Lloyds TSB Insurance. Actually the message is spam sent out to numerous people regardless of whether they have such an insurance or not!)

* It's encoded in the character set "Cyrillic". That's Russian, and Lloyds TSB is not usually in the habit of sending out Russian messages to its UK customers.

* The "From" address is faked up. If you are wondering about this, simply replying to the message would soon reveal... it bounces! So, it is spoofed

* The link to the "Privacy Policy and User Agreement" is not a link.

* The wording is a bit odd, in ways suggesting that the writer's first language is not English. This is untypical of Lloyds TSB, a British company.

* Lloyds TSB, along with other banks, insurance companies, etc, DO NOT send out messages to all of their customers. Plus, they never ask you to "verify your security details". That's sure sign it's a scam. Whether it's Lloyds TSB or any other bank, they never send you e-mails demanding that you "verify your security details".

* The senders of the message know nothing of you. Even a half-credible attempt to blag security information out of you would at least start out with SOME personal information. "Dear Sir/Madam" indeed!

And the most important point...

* The link does not go to Lloyds TSB! It actually goes to... http;//88-106-57-109.dynamic,dsl.as9105.com/online.lloydstsb.co.uk/update which, if you have learned how to read a URL, is NOT a page within lloydstsb.co.uk but a page within as9105.com . Also, those suspicious-looking numbers at the beginning have dashes between them instead of dots, and even if they had dots, you should be wary of visiting sites with numbers rather than names.

It is this last matter that's the telling point. The fact that the link does not go to the place it claims. Remember, it's not an affiliate link (affiliate links can go via other sites), and it claims to be from the official Lloyds TSB, but then the links go to somewhere else.

If you still have your doubts, I suggest you phone Lloyds TSB (using a phone number which you got a while ago independently) and ask them. It is this type of independent assessment which can tell you a lot about the truth or otherwise of things. Archaeologists use multiple opinions from history to determine the truth or otherwise of a legend.

Well, if the scamsters are so good at double-bluff, they might make more honest money at playing POKER! Also, whereas a lot of scams online target only the most ignorant or gullible of people, a scam such as the above could fool people who actually have a genuine O Level or two, not a fake degree! Therefore, I consider it a more grievous problem and worth stuffing and mounting on this page.

It is especially important to avoid giving your bank account personal details to criminals because they might try to steal your money or steal your identity for the purposes of fraud, buying stuff in your name and borrowing money on your behalf. However, if criminals get hold of your Home Insurance details you keep private, then they know where you live and the fact that you have stuff worth insuring, so that could be a personal danger.

Incidentally, if you're wondering if this page itself might be a scam or a "triple bluff", you don't need to worry, because the methods I'm describing are valid regardless of whether the rest of the page is true. Plus, if I were a scamster, I might at least have a style and appearance that would blend in to the crowd better. Visit my front page to see what I mean!

Scamsters, hoaxers, and online criminals generally do not like what I do. They have been known to steal my bank banners by remote-serving them. SCAM warning!However, they don't usually get away with this, as with a timely warning I can swap the banners for something that says "THIS IS A SCAM!".

Anyway, that just about exhausts the whole "Lloyds TSB Insurance Security email message" issue. If you'd like to see some more items of interest, you can explore around my site, and see such things as crime-fighting stuff, the Rogues Gallery, and how to hide your email address so spam senders don't get it

I'd really like to end this page with something like "Don't have nightmares, because online crime is very rare", but sadly it wouldn't be accurate. Online crime is widespread and if you have got an e-mail address which has been made public, it's likely to get all kinds of spam rubbish nonsense. You don't have to believe it, though!

Scamming information out of people so they have no privacy is the new crime. It's a major threat because of criminals and institutionalised government "Big Brother". This is why I say avoid Facebook, as its "no privacy" policy and intrusive inquisitional probing into your anonymity represents a widespread abuse of personal information, such as to allow a dystopian nightmare to unfold.