Fraudsters cash in on banking crisis

Fraudulent emails about Bradford & Bingley and Halifax have more than tripled as criminals try to cash in on customers’ anxiety, figures showed today.

Fraudulent emails about Bradford & Bingley and Halifax have more than tripled as criminals try to cash in on customers’ anxiety, figures showed today.

Anti-spam company ClearMyMail said it had seen a 246% surge in spam and phishing emails about the groups and Lloyds TSB, which is acquiring the Halifax Bank of Scotland Group, over the weekend.

The group said fraudsters were trying to trick worried and vulnerable accountholders into revealing their account information and passwords.

It warned people to automatically delete any emails which with titles like “Important message from Halifax Bank”, or similar ones relating to Lloyds TSB and Bradford & Bingley.

Under a phishing scam, fraudsters send emails to people pretending to be from their bank to try to get them to disclose their account details and passwords on a bogus website.

Dan Field, managing director of ClearMyMail, said: “This is a particularly cruel batch of phishing emails that are looking to target worried and vulnerable UK banking customers

“It is not just our UK customers who are being targeted, as our American clients also had an increase in Lehman Brothers fraudulent emails over the past week, but not at the same scale as here in the UK.”

The group said the majority of the emails were being tracked to senders in the United States and Canada, but it added that fraudsters were using increasingly sophisticated technology to cover their tracks.

The warning came as payments group APACS said it had seen a 185% jump in online banking fraud losses to £21.4 million, largely driven by phishing attacks and spyware scams.

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