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Please Update your Account at the Nationwide? I don't think so!

Here's a message which came in claiming to be from the Nationwide. Looks genuine? Well it's not. It's a hoax! (see more commentary after message)

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2007 5:47 AM
Subject: Please Update your Account !
NationwideMake managing your money the easiest thing you do
 Proud To Be Different

Dear Customer,

     It has come to our attention that your NationWide`s Online account information needs to be updated as part of our continuing commitment to protect your account and to reduce the instance of fraud on our website.If you could please take 5-10 minutes out of your online experience and update your billing records so that you will not run into any future problems with our online banking service.However, failure to update your records will result in account suspension. Please update your records on or before August 27, 2007. Once you have updated your account records, your NationWide`s Online session will not be interrupted and will continue as normal.

     To Get Started,Please Click On :

 Click Here to Update

      This email was sent by the NationWide`s Online server to verify your e-mail address. This is done for your protection , because some of our members will no longer have access to their online banking and we must verify it.

Online Security Department
Security Advisor
NationWide`s PLC.

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

Please do not reply to this e-mail. Mail sent to this address cannot be answered.

Now let's get this in perspective:

* I don't have a Nationwide account, but even if I did I would not be fooled into updating because of an email. Banks do not send out circular emails to customers!

* This message has come in to "none", always a bad sign. However on closer inspection it's come in to my Sign up to My Newsletter address. I use separate addresses for different companies, (see email address policy), so this message destination doesn't even remotely fit with correct banking procedure.

* Whereas the link to "Click here to Update" looks at first like it might go to the Nationwide, it actually goes to http;//www,mazzarello.cl/cache/b.php which is a website registered in Chile. Yes, Nationwide.co.uk might have call centres around the world, but I have a sneaking suspicion in this case it's more likely to be phishing

* Banks such as the Nationwide know your name and do not refer to you as "Dear Customer".

* The images in the message are served from the official Nationwide website, but that's bandwidth pinching and not a sign it's genuine. Actually the hoaxers are leaving themselves vulnerable to being unmasked as the Nationwide might easily swap the images and replace the images with "THIS IS A HOAX" like on the eBay spam message page.

* "This email was sent by NationWide 's online Server". It's a lie. Besides, the capitalisation is different, a mistake which corporate entities never make with their own trade name.

* The message character set is Cyrillic, Russian, so probably not from Nationwide.co.uk then?

So, it's a bank hoax. If you have been caught out by this and been silly enough to give away your personal details to the hoaxers by entering them on an online form, don't panic! You need to call the real Nationwide and tell them. Get the phone book and look up their number and give them a call (the information by this method is independent of the hoax situation). If you act on this soon, you can avoid the problems of identity theft which are typical of this type of scam.

I am an affiliate of the Nationwide, so obviously I'd like you to sign up to open an account there, but this fact is independent of the public spirited work I do online to expose scamsters! Also see Nigeria Scam, pyramid schemes, and chain letters! Incidentally, when stuffing and mounting a hoax scam email online like this, I tame it by taking out the dangerous links to the destinations, and I adjust the text size to make it easier to read. Apart from that, the message on the page is a reasonable likeness to the ones you might receive. Remember they are not from where they say they are. You can see some more of these on the page of messages pretending to be from your bank

Here's another message which is also a fake, pretending to be from the Nationwide:

----- Original Message -----
Nationwide Bank
Operator account
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2007 8:19 AM
Subject: Account Security Measures Notification

NationwideProud to be Different

Your Nationwide Account Has Been Suspended!

Causes that might have lead to your Account Suspension:

1. You have recently changed your password using another ISP(Internet Service Provider).
2. During the past day we noticed several failed login attempts issuing your Customer Number.
3. Your account might have been accessed by a third party server.
4. You haven't logged in for more than two weeks.

If suspension isn't removed by 25th of August, your account is going to be removed.
We are sorry for the incovinience this problem may cause but please understand this only for your own good.

Ensuring the security of your personal information online is a top priority at Nationwide.

In order to remove your suspension we must verify some certain information from you and to do so you must Log In and complete the requested fields.

Nationwide Security ID: NW5910S4.

To log in and remove your limitations to account click the link below:


Thank you for your time and patience.
Best Regards, Nationwide Security Staff.

It is of course nonsense and it's designed to scare someone who had a Nationwide account into being so shocked their account had been suspended that they'd be fooled into linking on the link, which does not go to Nationwide.co.uk , or .com (which isn't even the same company), but in fact goes to http;//www,ju-warstein.de/sv/mambots/content/mossef.php which is someone's site registered in Germany (and whoever owns that site, they have probably been hacked). These messages are fraud, as whoever is doing this is improperly impersonating the Nationwide Security Staff. Also see other messages pretending to be from your bank

Also note that at the Nationwide they've got a spellchecker and they don't say things like "We are sorry for the incovinience this problem may cause but please understand this only for your own good"!