London police have arrested 19 fraudsters, who stole £6m in three months. Thieves targeted UK bank customers, using a trojan virus to capture their passwords. Stolen money was them moved to bogus accounts.
The gang was arrested in London on suspicion of fraud, offences under the Computer Misuse Act and money laundering.
Detective Chief Inspector Terry Wilson said: ‘We believe we have disrupted a highly organised criminal network, which has used sophisticated methods to siphon large amounts of cash from many innocent peoples’ accounts, causing immense personal anxiety and significant financial harm- which of course banks have had to repay at considerable cost to the economy.’
‘Online banking customers must make sure their security systems are up to date and be alert to any unusual or additional security features requested which is at variance with their normal log-on experience.’
Computer security is a major concern for those using online banking or purchasing items over the Internet. Protecting yourself from ‘cyber-crime’ is essential, from phishing emails that try to elicit information, to viruses, such as the Zeus trojan used by the gang that has just been arrested.
Computing Which? Editor, Sarah Kidner says: ‘The frightening thing about these types of attack is that the first people know about them is when they discover a nasty shock in their bank accounts.’
‘The key to staying safe online is to combine a Best Buy Security suite with a dollop of common sense,’ she adds.
Although banks encourage customers to take sensible precautions and install adequate computer security, they do recognise that most victims of computer fraud are entirely blameless. In most cases, the bank will compensate those who have had money taken from their account. If you suspect that your account has been compromised, you should telephone the bank immediately. For more details see the bank industry’s guide for online customers.
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