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Barclays customers hit by online fraud

The Times Online (opens in new tab) writes about a gang of online Bank robbers that have used social engineering to defraud Barclays Bank out of hundreds of thousands of their bank accounts.

Their elaborate scheme was based around convincing bank employees to send them new PIN and card in what the police calls an account take over.

In a scenario not unlike those in PhoneJacker (opens in new tab), the gang member would phone a Barclays staff and harass them until a new card and PIN would be sent.

One of the victims was flabbergasted to learn that all that was needed at the Post Office to collect his mail (and new card and PIN), was a Tesco Club card and a fake utility bill.

Criminals are becoming more tech-savvy as it involves less risk than a heist and is easier because of the increasing number of users going online.

In this particular fraud scheme, the Bank robbers appear to have monitored their victims to understand their habits and then only used the Internet and a computer to transfer money to an account that they created.

They have targetted only a dozen or so Barclays customers until now.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.