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PNC Bank Under the Grip of Phishing Scam

PNC Bank of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania, USA), which has come to know of a fake e-mail sent to its clients using Internet banking, has reported the incident to its authorities. The Bank said that the e-mail represented a 'phishing' campaign that tried to steal sensitive account details.

The fraudulent phishing e-mail begins by spuriously cautioning customers that they can no longer use the Internet banking facility of PNC as the service has been withdrawn. Stating that it is a formal notification from the Bank, the e-mail asks the recipient (client) to resubmit his banking details if he wishes to keep on using the service. The e-mail also warns that failure to do so will lead to the restriction/deletion of his online account.

Additionally, the e-mail provides a web-link and persuades clients to follow its path, apparently connecting to a renewal form, and enter personal information so that they can resume using the Internet banking facility.

Pat McMahon, PNC Spokesman, said that after security investigations, authorities at PNC Bank shutdown the website early on September 1, 2009, as online crooks' attempted at 'phishing' confidential, sensitive details from consumers.

According to PNC officials, they were not aware of what number of individuals got the scam e-mail that possibly reached non-customers too.

McMahon said that once PNC spotted the scam, it alerted everyone via a post it made of the fake message on the bank's official website, as reported by Tribe Live on September 2, 2009. McMahon also said that the bank further posted certain tips for identity theft protection.

As the Internet banking gets popular, it also draws the interest of cyber criminals. As opposed to the conventional physical robbery at banks that are associated with considerable risks of getting caught, Internet raids seem to facilitate loot with less possibilities of getting captured.

In a similar news, during the end week of August 2009, online fraudsters tried to seize banking details of over 100,000 Internet customers of Allied Irish Banks, which warned that Internet banking clients needed to remain wary about fake e-mails in wake of 300% increase in phishing attacks.

Related article: Pinch to Create Information-stealing Trojans

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