There's kind of benign spam email that I receive on a fairly frequent basis. My Mum often forwards on chain emails warning of the 'latest threat from thieves', involving really complicated scams. (I live in the East End of London, where there remains a traditional 'stab first and ask questions later' approach to thievery.) I ignore them, because I tend to think that common sense is the best approach to security, online and off.

But today I received that rare thing, a 'warning' chain email that is actually quite interesting, if only because it proves something I've always thought - namely that those who fear online banking are, well, wrong.

The email contains a PDF that shows someone tampering with an ATM. Next up a hapless victim slopes into shot, and the machine nicks his bank card. Step forward the tamperer (the thief, not the band who had the hit with that Chimney song that ripped off the Jackson 5), who tries to 'help' the victim, and in doing so obtains his bank details.

When the cheeky scampster is unable to 'help', he (and the victim) walk away, before the crim returns to whip out the card, to which he now has the PIN. It is, frankly, breathtaking in its audacity. So I guess my conclusion is this - the biggest threat to your security is you. Never, ever give out your details, and criminals will struggle to get your cash, online or in the street.

Oh, and if you want the PDF, email me ([email protected]) and I'll send it to you