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Banks Concealing Online Fraud Incidents, Say Police

Detective Superintendent Russell Day, Metropolitan Police Officer, informed a group of MPs enquiring the fast-growing issue of identity pilfering, that banks were not informing anything about the strikes on their computer systems, either because they were concerned about losing public confidence or they weren't sure of police's ability to deal with such problems. One MP reported that the actual cost of identity pilfering for UK economy could be higher than the official statistics of £1.7 Billion per year.

He said that if some other type of crime, like arson, would have attacked a bank, then they would at once inform the cops of it. He further added that 'botnets', networks of compromised home systems that can be exploited to attack bank security systems and distribute spam, were among the major dangers to UK financial institutions.

Nigel Evans, Tory MP, chaired the hearing and said that these proclamations show that if all the incidents of online fraud were revealed, then the cost to the UK economy would be more than the official statistics of £1.7 Billion per year, released by NCC (National Consumer Council) of UK.

Evan said that the option of not reporting the attacks to cops was posing another problem - it was making it more difficult to estimate exactly how big the problem was. He assumed that this way financial firms lose the money and transfer the extra cost to customers.

A latest report by APACS (Association of Payment Clearing Services) estimated that Internet swindle accounts for 25% of all card swindle losses. The increasing crime statistics coincided with a 1471% hike in reported phishing cases to more than 5000 cases from 312 during the same time period a year ago.

Though probably foolish, the reluctance of banking industry to inform fraud cases is understandable, as the people are already afraid of cyber-crime, with several avoiding banking and shopping online. However, the best way to the issue is public awareness of the tricks employed by criminals to thieve personal details.

Related article: Bank Issues Spam Alerts

» SPAMfighter News - 08-12-2006

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