The Guardian is reporting that Microsoft is giving refunds to Xbox Live subscribers who may have had their credit card information stolen in a phishing scam. The Guardian describes the scam in its November 22, 2011 edition:
Reports are proliferating of Xbox Live users checking the credit card and bank account statements which they use to pay their Xbox Live subscriptions, and discovering payments which they did not make, generally over a period of months, which were used to buy Microsoft Points (the service’s currency which enables users to purchase extra downloadable content, games and in-game objects) which were then cashed in to buy downloadable content from EA Sports – specifically Ultimate Team Packs for its games FIFA 12, Madden and NBA.
EU provides more details about the scam on its website.
You receive an email that appears to be from EA concerning an Ultimate Team promotion. You click on the link in the email, go to what appears to be the Ultimate Team login page, and enter your account name and password. Two days later you discover all the gold players you’ve worked so hard for have disappeared.
This is the fake website that is launched from the phishing email:
EU advised that the official EA website uses the following URL:
Any other similar looking URL is not official and should not be clicked on.
As this image from the EA website shows, the difference between the scam website and the real website are extremely subtle.
This is a close-up of the URL’s.
To this advice, we add that you should use the latest version of a reputable security product (such as the products of Trend Micro) and install all the security patches for your operating system and applications. You should be careful. But you need to do more. You need a product that will identify legitimate emails from many of the leading consumer brands. Distinguishing real email from fake email is hard. Being conversant with all the real URL’s is impossible. You need a tool to identify real email. You need eMail ID from Iconix.
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