Criminals target customers of troubled banks

The head of specialist and economic crime at Scotland Yard has issued a warning to customers of banks that are being targetted by cyber criminals.

Nigel...

The head of specialist and economic crime at Scotland Yard has issued a warning to customers of banks that are being targetted by cyber criminals.

Nigel Mawer said the force is seeing an increase in phishing scams as a result of the merger and acquisition activity in the market.

With Lloyds TSB and HBOS merging, scammers are using this as an opportunity to send e-mails requesting personal information.

According to an article in the Telegraph, Mawer said, "You can imagine if your bank merges with another bank, then the phishers can send an email saying 'as a result of the merger we just need to reconfirm your details'. It gives them a degree more of credibility around the phishing attack."

Martin Mackay, vice president EMEA at Verisign, said many people in the UK are still largely in the dark when it comes to spotting a phishing site. "At the moment cyber criminals are in a good position to exploit the confusion caused by the banking crisis. However there are easy ways for everyone to spot a fraudulent site."

Verisign offers banks Extended Validation SSL software to visually demonstrate that its websites are genuine and help prevent its customers becoming victims of increasing numbers of phishing scams. The software shows a green bar when the site is genuine.

HSBC's retail division in the UK started using it last year to give its three million online customers reassurance that they are using a genuine HSBC website.

The Association of Payment Clearing Services (Apacs) will publish its latest fraud figures, including phishing attacks this month.

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