A new Lloyds Bank phishing scam has been uncovered. The UK bank’s customers are being targeted just before Christmas with a highly realistic email, apparently sent from Lloyds Banking Group. Christmas is a time when people let their guard down. Its busy at work, there is much to do, and minds are invariably on Turkey, holidays, and rushing to get last minute preparations completed.

New Lloyds Bank phishing scam is highly realistic

The email contains the exact same font, logo, and styling that are used on the real online banking portal, making the campaign one of the most realistic online banking phishing scams we have seen.

The latest Lloyds Bank phishing scam is pure simplicity. It is brief and to the point, and has been designed to scare users into clicking on the link and signing into their account to check their bank balance.

All that the email says, is “You have One New Message. Your account has been accessed in multiple locations. Click below to update your Lloyds Bank Account, with a hyperlink using the anchor text “Sign In.” There are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors to warn users that the email is anything but genuine.

In fact, even clicking the sign in link is unlikely to arouse suspicion. The link will direct the soon-to-be victim to a website containing an exact copy of the Lloyds Bank portal that customers will be very familiar with. All of the text is genuine, and the website features apparently clickable links in all the right places. It is an almost exact replica of the real site.

Only if a user decides to click on any of the links will they realize something is not quite right. The scammers have only taken an image of the real site. They have not made any of the links actually clickable.

But then again, after the recipient of the email has been sent a warning telling them their account is under threat, they are unlikely to suddenly decide to check the latest mortgage rates or take out a loan.

The only part of the website that works is the section where users are required to enter their user ID, password, and memorable word. Once the credentials have been entered, the victim will be redirected to Lloyds. That may arouse suspicion when their login attempt did not work, but the scammers hope that few will bother to change their password when they realize their account has not been compromised.

The scammers are likely to act quickly. Once they have a User ID, password, and memorable word, they have the basic information necessary to access the account. That information may be sufficient to gain access to the account and make a fraudulent transfer. If not, it will be used as the basis for a further spear phishing email to attempt to get the answer to a security question. If the victim fell for the first campaign, chances are they will fall for another.

There is only one other giveaway that this is a Lloyds Bank phishing scam. The URL is not lloydsbank.com.

The scam highlights the importance of checking the URL before entering any login credentials and checking to make sure the site address starts with https://. This site is clearly not genuine and has no green padlock, indicating something is amiss to anyone even casually checking the web address. However, not all online banking customers will do that when the website appears to look like the real deal.