ETrade: phishing or not?

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Financial institutions are very in tune with the phishing threat and how it can damage their brand.

Or are they?

I received this e-mail from ETrade yesterday.  I’m a security expert and I recognize spam and phishing. I had to look this one over a few times to distinguish whether it was real or not.

This isn’t helping customers. Instead, it’s training them to respond to *real* phishing mail by making phishing and real messages indistinguishable.

Here is the spam – um, I mean, e-mail:

* * *

Special Pricing Expiration Notification

Your discounted commissions on stock and options trades will expire in 7 days.

You can still get extraordinary value when you trade with E*TRADE. We customize our commissions(1), making it easy to qualify for our best pricing.

If you have any questions, please call 1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331) or log on to your account at http://www.etrade.com and contact us through the Help Center.

View our current commission schedule (https://us.etrade.com/e/t/estation/pricing?id=1206010000)

PLEASE READ THE IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES BELOW

1. For details and additional information about our trading commissions and options contract fees, please visit http://www.etrade.com/commissions.

(c) 2007 E*TRADE Securities LLC, Member NASD/SIPC (http://www.sipc.org). All rights reserved. The information contained in this Smart Alert does not constitute a recommendation by E*TRADE Securities, and is subject to the Smart Alerts Terms and Conditions (https://us.etrade.com/e/t/estation/help?id=1209038000) and the E*TRADE Securities Customer Agreement (https://us.etrade.com/e/t/estation/help?id=1209031000). We cannot respond to e-mails sent to this mailbox. If you have questions, please contact us through the Help Center (https://us.etrade.com/e/t/estation/help?id=1203000000).

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