I just spotted a rather disturbing phishing message in (of all places) our abuse contact mailbox:

Subject: Fraud Prevention Measures

Dear customer!

Due to high fraud activity we constantly increasing security level both for online banking and card transactions. In order to update our records you are required to call MBNA Card Service number at 1-800-[removed] and update information on your MBNA card.

This is free of charge and would not affect any transactions with your card. Please note this is necessary to provide highest security level for all transactions with your card.

No HTML tricks. No links to fraudulent websites. Just a phone number.

I can only assume this is a response to high-profile inclusion of antiphishing features in Internet Explorer 7 and in Firefox 2. If there’s no website, there’s nothing for a web browser to check.

And of course by not using sneaky technical tricks in the message, it’s harder for tools like ClamAV, spam filters, or mail clients to detect.

Incidentally, does anyone else find it ironic that one of the most common phishing techniques is to exploit people’s fear of being phished?

Further reading: Anti-Phishing Working Group.