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Absa Together with SAPS Cracks Down on Phishers

Absa, a banking group, on April 6, 2010, said that its team for management of frauds risk in collaboration with the commercial unit of SAPS had busted an e-mail scam, as reported by Dispatch.co.za on April 7, 2010.

Normally, criminals send out phishing e-mails so they may acquire valuable and sensitive information of the end-users. This information is then exploited to gain entry into the users' financial accounts, particularly their bank accounts.

According to the related reports, at the time the phishing group was cracked following raids, about five suspects were arrested. These suspects were thought to be allegedly associated with online banking scams, with one being the mastermind behind a South African operation of a global criminals' gang.

When arrested, it was found that these alleged phishers possessed fake cards along with manufacturing equipment for such cards with which they could skim payment card information. Two desktop computers, three laptops, and a number of cell-phones were also confiscated.

An intelligence team and one data forensics group examined the confiscated PC and ascertained that the alleged criminals participated in phishing schemes and online banking fraud. According to Absa and SAPS, the said individuals tricked consumers into divulging their secret banking information through spoofed e-mails and phishing websites. Subsequently, they used that information to drain funds from the consumers' bank accounts. As stated by Christo Vrey, Managing Executive, Absa Digital Channels, a vital step forward had certainly been taken regarding the phishing campaigns, according to the statement published by Busrep.co.za on April 6, 2010.

Vrey further said that he was glad that it was possible to trace and arrest the phishing criminals who created problems for Absa clients, its international investors, and SA citizens. This demonstrates that Absa is actually battling against the crime, instead of only passively cautioning clients to be vigilant about phishing e-mails.

Meanwhile, the arrests occur following reports of twin significant phishing campaigns associated with Absa Bank. One scammed a businessman off R24, 000 because he answered a phishing e-mail that spoofed Absa. The other defrauded a woman in Durban (SA) off over R10, 000 as, she also responded to a phishing e-mail.

Related article: APACS Reports Phishing On The Rise

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