15 December 2003

Finance sector bracing for upswing in Internet fraud

Finance sector bracing for upswing in Internet fraud - Computerworld

Cyberscams expected to soar in 2004, experts say

Story by Bernhard Warner

DECEMBER 15, 2003 ( REUTERS ) - LONDON -- Banking officials and computer security experts predicted today that the wave of cyberscams targeting the financial services sector will soar in 2004 as the industry braces for a new onslaught of fraud schemes.

The gloomy prediction comes amid a string of e-mail and Web site spoofing scams preying on banking customers.

Police call the relatively new phenomenon 'phishing,' so named because fraudsters try to lure unwitting customers into divulging their bank details.

In the past few months, a rash of e-mails posing as correspondence from some of the world's biggest banks have flowed into various e-mail in-boxes. The scams have been reported in the U.K., the U.S. and Australia, to name a few.

'We see phishing as just the toe in the water,' said a security expert at one of the U.K.'s largest banks who spoke on condition of anonymity at a summit in London dedicated to security matters in the financial services industry.

'It's like credit card fraud. Phishing is not big yet. But it will be,' the expert said."

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