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UK’s Netizens Face Mounting Online Frauds

The research conducted by CIFAS (UK's Fraud Prevention Service) summarizes that in the period of global recession, facility takeover and online fraud are two of the biggest threats posed to businesses.

Facility takeover, i.e. account takeover, fraud has risen sharpest of all the frauds. CIFAS recorded an alarming 207% growth in these frauds in 2008 as compared to 2007. Especially, plastic cards, mail order, telecoms and bank accounts are the most vulnerable that led people to fall victim of identity theft at most of the time. Moreover, 23% Internet users in the UK were scammed in 2008.

CIFAS officials detailed out that there are several ways in which a fraudster obtain bank account details. The CIFAS survey highlighted three main kinds of Internet scams, conducted via fraudulent e-mails.

Phishing was the first sort of online scam reported in the survey. In this scam, victim receives a fake e-mail that purports to be coming from a government agency, social networking site, his bank or a company with whom he does business.

Second scam, reported by CIFAS, is that involving fake foreign lotteries. Herein, a user is asserted as the winner of a lottery conducted in some foreign country and is asked to pay administration or tax charges so as to claim the prize money. Usually, personal information is also requested to commit identity theft.

The third online scam is the advance fee scam, wherein a user gets an e-mail that urges to assist the scammer in wiring a huge amount of money into a foreign country. In return of this, scammer promises the user a small (but attractive) share of that amount. This bogus e-mail asks for the bank details of the helper to drain out his account and steal his identity.

CIFAS Communications Manager, Richard Hurley, stated that however our lives have been revolutionized by the Internet to a big deal, but at the same time, it has provided cybercriminals various new avenues to exploit the people online, as reported by creditman.biz on May 19, 2009.

Hurley also stated that the rising level of online frauds suggests that fraudsters are merely giving a new shape to their efforts. Thus, focusing on anti-fraud techniques has become even more crucial.

Related article: US Passes Baton to Asia in Spam Relay

» SPAMfighter News - 5/26/2009

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