Wonga customers targeted by phishing emails

‘Wonga support’ email links to almost-perfect replica of Wonga website – but the URL is registered in Indonesia

Vulnerable customers of Wonga are being targeted by criminals using spam emails claiming to be from the payday lender.

The bogus emails, which claim to be sent by “Wonga.com Support” using the email address supporta@wonga.com, ask the recipient to “log-in to receive your security message”.

The link takes users to a near-perfect replica of the Wonga website. However, the URL is registered to an Indonesian web-hosting company, whereas the real Wonga website is registered in London.

At the fake website, users are asked to supply their Wonga.com log-in details, specifically their email address and password – a type of fraud known as phishing. Usernames and passwords can be of financial value to criminals as they can use them to commit fraud such as identity theft and bank fraud.

Online crime affected more than 12 million people in the UK in 2012, at a cost of £1.8bn, according to the annual Norton Cybercrime report.

It is thought Wonga customers could be rich pickings for criminals as they might be less familiar with the typical phishing emails that plague traditional online banking customers.

A spokeswoman for ActionFraud said it hadn’t received any reports of Wonga.com being used in phishing attacks.

A spokesman for Wonga.com said: “Any successful online business gets targeted with these. People should of course be vigilant. If you’re ever unsure of an email, right-click on the link, copy the hyperlink into the browser and check the address.”

A recent poll carried out by phishing awareness firm PhishMe showed that nearly 60% of UK office workers receive phishing emails every day, and 6% receive more than 10 a day.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at software security firm Sophos, said it was no surprise Wonga was being used in this type of attack.

“It is child’s play for a hacker to create a realistic lookalike site and send out spam messages tricking people into handing over their login usernames and passwords.

“It is not just banks that are targeted – sites like Google, Hotmail, Amazon and many others are frequently in the firing line. So it’s not really strange to see Wonga as well,” he said. “Hopefully, Wonga will do a good job of educating its users about the risks of spam and phishing.”

You can report fraud of any nature to the National Fraud Authority’s ActionFraud centre.

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