‘Takeover-fraud’ increases

(BBC) – MORE PEOPLE ARE LOSING CONTROL OF THEIR BANK ACCOUNT or credit card to fraudsters, a watchdog has warned.

Cases of ‘takeover-fraud’ in the UK increased by 75% in the last year, says the fraud prevention service Cifas.

A few years ago, fraudsters who gained your personal details may have taken out loans or credit cards in your name. But now lenders are more reluctant to give out credit — so criminals are trying to take over your existing bank account or credit cards instead.

Victims often do not even know that the fraud has taken place.

The criminals often use popular stories or events and set up fake websites based around those topics. They send out emails too. When someone visits one of these websites or opens an email their computer can be infected with the malicious software.

‘Cyber criminals out there are trying to infect us so they are going to all the places we go,’ says Greg Day, principal security analyst at the IT company McAfee.

‘They’ll try to hide their threats in genuine websites or set up fake websites to look like genuine websites.

‘They’ll commonly tie in to current affairs or activities — whether it’s something like swine flu or the World Cup or the latest cricket… they’re trying to make sure that we trip over their attacks.’

Once one of these programs is on your computer, it can monitor which websites you go to and what you type in.

That information — passwords and details of who you bank with, for example — can then be sent over the internet to the criminal. They can then take control of your bank account and withdraw your cash.

… (BBC, 19/03/2009) – Payment fraud: What are your rights?

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