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APACS Reports Phishing On The Rise

The Association for Payment and Clearing Services (APACS) of UK is urging users of online banking to stay vigilant following an influx of phishing e-mails from perpetrators attempting to compromise their accounts.

Phishing practice has become very common during the recent months, as latest data from APACS shows. During January-March 2008, there have been over 10,000 reported phishing incidents, an increase by 200% over the same quarter in 2007.

Phishing involves criminals' use of pop-up messages or spam mails to get people to disclose their financial and personal information. These messages often spoof banks or genuine businesses and direct the recipient to a legitimate looking Website. The user is then asked to confirm or update his private security information. But, as he does so the user actually gives away the information to fraudsters who had created the counterfeit Website. The fraudsters could then use the captured details to access the user's bank account.

Therefore, APACS reminds consumers who might receive e-mails that looks suspicious to neither open it nor reply to rather erase it immediately.

According to APACS, there were about 10,235 incidents of phishing reported in the first quarter of 2008 compared to 25,797 over the entire 2007.

Although losses from Internet banking fraud decreased 33% from £33.5 Million in 2006 to £22.6 Million in 2007, the fraudsters continue to be somewhat successful in tricking consumers with their phishing e-mails.

Hence, the industry urges consumers to be on guard of such scams.

Security experts also advise against doing one's banking transactions by using public Wi-Fi connections or at Internet cafes. For hackers know how to crack the wireless encryption and intercept data.

According to Sandra Quinn, Director of Communications, APACS, phishing incidents are constantly rising and with even more sophistication. It is for this reason that the agency wants to once again tell consumers to stay wise about them, as reported by Telegraph.co.uk on April 15, 2008.

Quinn said that the advice was quite simple. Users only need to remember that their bank would never send them e-mails asking for their login details, password or PIN numbers.

Related article: AVG Wrongly Identified Windows File as Banking Trojan

» SPAMfighter News - 4/17/2008

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