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).