View Full Version : A new form of Phishing/Identity theft?

22nd Jun 2007, 11:54
My mother has just been sent a letter from HBOS plc thanking her for applying for an internet bank account on 15th June at 16.15pm and a subsequent letter sending a temporary password to activate the account.

She does not and never has had an account with HBOS, Halifax or the Bank of Scotland and has established that she was on a train at the time they say she applied for the account (and does not have a WiFi laptop or anything like that) so is satisfied it was not her.

She is taking it up with the Bank but it seems dodgy to me although I cant quite figure out how. It was creating a new account so had no money in it to steal. If it was identity theft it does not seem to have worked as she has the paperwork for the account - not the thieves.

Has anybody come across anything similar or got any thoughts on how the bad guys might benefit from it.

Alternatively might it be somebody in the Bank trying to boost their sales figures by opening accounts in false names picked up from somewhere.

Thanks for any thoughts.


22nd Jun 2007, 12:12
Don't reply to the email by hitting the email button. Contact the bank either through their website of by phone. Don't click on links in the email.

22nd Jun 2007, 12:21
Bushfiva - Thanks but I should perhaps have made it clearer it was a snail mail letter she got and not an email. It was the the fact it was a posted letter that made it odd.


22nd Jun 2007, 12:43
It sounds like someone has tried to open an account using your Mum's details, however this should not be easily achieved without photographic ID; likewise it's strange that correspondance has gone to the legitimate address..thus breaking the fraud chain.

Could also be a simple mistake.

22nd Jun 2007, 14:19
The fact that it's in her name and at her address, and by snail-mail, is unusual.

A friend of mine got back from holiday a few days early, and found on the doormat a credit card in the name of someone else, at his address, and with a large credit limit mentioned. That night, his house was broken into, but nothing stolen (he heard the noise downstairs and yelled "who's there?").

22nd Jun 2007, 17:04
There was some trouble in recent years with Banks opening credit card accounts on behalf of new customers, without any request from the people concerned ..... it didn't go down very well .... :cool:

Wonder if it's some bright spark trying to fill a quota .... :ugh:

22nd Jun 2007, 17:24
Actually, you'd need a Wi-Fi WAN to have access outside of your office/home - and even then you'd need to be no more than a 5 mile radious of where the WAN is.

Somebody else could have course signed her up for it to get back at her - that can happen to provoke negative reactions.

Get the police to investigate it. You can track down their IP address, and find out where whoever set up the account lives, but at the end of the day the police are the ones who have the power to stop it happening again.