HSBC warns of scam emails targeting personal data

July 22, 2015 12:51
HSBC has reminded the public to be vigilant about scam emails and calls aimed at extracting personal information. Photos: Bloomberg, Apple Daily

HSBC has urged people to be vigilant about fraudulent online messages and phishing attacks after a bank customer reported a scam email.

The bank said that it learnt that one of its customers received an email offering free credit card verification service, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.

According to the report, a female user of HSBC's e-banking service received an email titled "HSBC Internet Security Registration" at 11am Tuesday.

The email, written in both English and simplified Chinese, asked the recipient to go to a particular weblink and log in and input her credit card number as well as her ID number and credit card password. 

The action will ensure that her credit card can be protected from being misused in illegal online transactions, the email read.

As the email bore the HSBC logo, the woman -- said to bear the first name Anna -- tried to log in as instructed. However, the attempt failed, which turned out to be good in the end.

Later Anna discovered that the email address "[email protected]" did not show the domain name of "".

Getting suspicious, she called up HSBC. That is when she realized that she had received a scam email.

HSBC said the URL the customer received was of a phony website. It urged the public to be careful about fraudulent online activities.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), meanwhile, said on Tuesday that there have been nearly 2,000 enquiries over the past two weeks regarding fake voice messages.

The HKMA and banks never ask for personal information through phone calls or emails, it said.

Separately, Hongkong Post, which has recently received multiple enquiries, also called on citizens to watch out for scams that use fake voice messages showing the same number as the postal agency's enquiry hotline 29212222.

Callers claiming to be from the postal department are said to have sought personal information, saying the data is needed for the purpose of handing over some postal items.

A Hongkong Post spokesman said the hotline never places such calls to citizens. Any registered postal item that could not be delivered can only be claimed by using the notice cards left by postmen, it said.

It also said that for any enquiry, only the names and phone numbers may be sought, and not any other personal information.

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