Ta very much to the anonymous reader who reported a suspicious email to HSBC's anti-phishing department and then forwarded us the result. Although he or she got a fairly comprehensive rundown on what to keep an eye out for in those dodgy "HSBC security alert" emails, the automated reply makes it clear that any personal feedback is unlikely for the next 44 years or so…
Date: 18 December 2006 14:36:56 GMT
Subject: This is an automated Email reply
I will be out of the office starting 05/10/2006 and will not return until 17/07/2050.
Thank you for reporting a suspicious email to HSBC.
Although HSBC may send you emails from time to time, we never send emails asking for your security information or your login details. We also never link from an email to a web page that asks for this information. If you receive an email from HSBC, the chances are that it is a "phishing" email...
Etc, etc. According to the email, "To keep our customers protected, HSBC takes an active part in shutting down the corresponding fraudulent website wherever it is in the world, and we then pass on appropriate information to local law enforcement officers".
Quite how the anti-phishing department intends to do that while it's sipping piña colada in a luxury Bermuda beach resort for the next four decades is anyone's guess. Those of us who have to work for a living can only dream of this kind of extended vacation. ®