Feeds

Barclays: Internet scam victim

Small scale

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

Consumers are repeatedly warned to keep their bank security details secret. Yet these warnings have failed to stop a number of Barclays customers from falling foul of an Internet scam. Security breaches like this damage consumer faith in Internet banking services.

With 3.5 million customers banking online, Barclays has more Internet banking customers than any other bank in the UK. Any suggestion that the security of its Internet banking service has been breached is therefore likely to be big news.

In reality the security of Barclays' Internet banking service has not been breached but a small number of customers have fallen victim to a scam which encourages them to enter security details such as their PIN and password into an authentic looking, but entirely bogus, email. In theory these details can be used to withdraw funds from customers' accounts.

The scam, affecting just Barclays' customers, is the latest to involve a major bank. In August 2003 customers of Citibank in the US received an email asking them to disclose their social security number, a key piece of information necessary to gain access to an online account. The National Hi-tech Crime Unit in the UK claims that scams like those that hit Barclays and Citibank customers are on the increase. Only eight such scams were reported in 2002. So far, 40 have been reported in 2003.

Security breaches like the Barclays scam are actually very small scale. Relatively few customers have received an email and an even smaller number are likely to have supplied their security information. Alertness to the importance of keeping account information secret is now fairly widespread and the majority of consumers are aware that their bank is unlikely to request this information via such a medium.

Yet, the fact that some customers have fallen victim to this scam does little to convince wavering consumers to use Internet banking services. It also highlights that banks must continue to make their customers aware of the importance of keeping their security information secret. Banks must be more proactive in this area as a lack of public knowledge will only serve to increase consumer reluctance to go online with their bank.

Recommended research: Reuters Business Insight, "Online Banking In The United Kingdom" (RBFS0046

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.