Credit crunch will trigger surge in online banking fraud

As the boffins at the Bank of England put the finishing touches to effectively nationalising the Bradford & Bingley over the weekend, I was interested to read a prediction that the continuing credit crunch will trigger a spike in e-banking fraud.

The prediction comes from IP validation and authentication specialist First Cyber Security, which claims to be something of an expert in the area.

According to David Holman, the firm's director, punters with e-banking now need to start taking extra care when responding to emails and interacting with their accounts.

This is especially true, he says, if customers get an email from their bank or financial institution that has been taken over, nationalised or similar.

This is, he says, exactly the sort of confusion on which the fraudsters thrive.

"As these mergers and acquisitions continue in the banking sector, the consumer will expect to receive communications from their banks detailing name changes and giving them different Web sites to gain

access to their Internet bank accounts," he said.

"Unless this is handled carefully it is a real opportunity for fraudsters to steal private information," he added.

You'd think that, in the light of the e-banking frauds and phishing emails seen to date, that punters would be taking more care.

Not so, says First Cyber Security, which points out that the latest APACs figures show that 18 per cent of people who receive phishing mail still click through to links included in these mails, any of which could lead to the consumer being tricked into giving up their personal data...