additional security warngs for the uninformed

  johnnyrocker 18:07 14 Apr 2004

afew tips to follow if you might tend to be gullible

From people posing as widows to pretending to be the Bank of England, online scams are increasing in frequency. Here are the most common and how to avoid them

MBNA has become the latest bank to be hit by online fraudsters. UK customers have been sent an email with the bank's logo. They are then asked to click on a link to a site which looks like MBNA's where they are asked to enter their online bank details.

This form of fraud, known as "phishing", has made headlines recently, with Barclays, Lloyds TSB, Natwest and even the Bank of England affected.

Barclays customers were sent emails saying that the bank was making technical changes. There was a link to go to a page where customers were prompted to enter their account details.

Lloyds TSB customers received emails saying their accounts would be cancelled due to a new security measure unless they went to a site and entered their details.

The fraudsters set up “spoof” email addresses that look like they could credibly belong to the institution. Once they have received account details, they siphon money out via “mules” – people with UK accounts – to their own accounts abroad. These scams are believed to be run from Eastern Europe.

Natwest, Halifax and Nationwide customers were sent emails saying they needed to verify their accounts by going to a site and entering their details. And an email supposedly sent from the Bank of England urged people to download anti-virus software

Here are some other examples of online scams:

The Nigerian scams

The fraudsters send emails to people telling them they can release a fortune that is tied up in an African bank by allowing them to transfer the money into the person’s account. In return, the person will be given a share of the profits.

Another variation on this is an email supposedly from the widow of a high-ranking Nigerian official pleading for the recipient to help her access her late husband’s money. Again, the recipient is asked for their bank details.

The catch with these scams is, of course, that rather than money going into the person’s bank account, the fraudsters clean out them out using the details sent to them.

Lottery and prize draw wins

Emails are sent out to people telling them they’ve won a lottery or prize draw and they need to send a payment for “administrative” or some other purpose in order to claim their winnings. Of course, there is no prize...

How to protect yourself

If you receive an email asking you to submit your personal financial details, it is likely to be a scam. Banks never ask for personal details in email communication. If the email appears to have come from your bank, contact them to report it.

Don’t reveal your details to anyone you don’t know. If it sounds too good to be true, then unfortunately it probably is...

CreditExpert is an online service offered by Experian that monitors your credit report and alerts if anything changes.


  paddyjack 18:14 14 Apr 2004

There is a story at this link where somebody was saved from one of these scams click here$showpage?value1=329085977045958

  paddyjack 18:17 14 Apr 2004

sorry the link is not fully working once you get to the homepage click on 'spam trap'

  Gaz 25 18:29 14 Apr 2004

click here and look for or use find feature on the Spoof URL exploit. This shows and explains how its done and how to protect.

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