Schoolkids charged in multimillion-pound online fraud

Four Australian high school students, aged 15 to 17, have been charged with helping an organised criminal gang to steal millions...

Four Australian high school students, aged 15 to 17, have been charged with helping an organised criminal gang to steal millions of pounds from online bank accounts using phishing techniques.

Anti-virus software firm Sophos said the global internet banking scam, operating from Australia to Eastern Europe, also resulted in nine other suspects being arrested, including the alleged ringleaders.

The criminals are said to have used bogus online adverts and spam e-mails to capture passwords and other bank details.

The Australian teenagers were then recruited as "mules" to aid the transfer of stolen funds into Eastern European-based bank accounts.

"Criminal gangs are getting more and more sophisticated with their tricks to make millions of pounds out of innocent people - tempting naive teenagers with the opportunity of making a quick buck is another one of their schemes," said Graham Cluley, Sophos senior technology consultant.

"It's reassuring to all online bank customers that these criminals are being uncovered and charged, however, users should still be on their guard when banking online," he said.

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