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Don't be discouraged from online banking

The news that UK police have arrested 19 people in connection with the theft of millions of pounds from online bank accounts shows the lengths to which criminals will go to commit fraud, and the PCeU must be congratulated on breaking this criminal gang. However, it is important that stories like this don't discourage consumers from banking online. As an individual there are a number of steps that people can take to help protect themselves from fraud - including never clicking on suspicious links in emails or on websites that could download this type of malware to their computer; regularly running anti-virus software; always checking statements; and reporting anything suspicious to their banks.

From the bank side, there is a lot they can and are doing to help protect their customers. We're starting to see a growing number of banks using what is called ‘out-of-band' methods to confirm with customers if a transaction is genuine - such as a phone call or an SMS message. Banks are also implementing comprehensive fraud analysis tools to look at every transaction made on an account to see if they fit into the usual ‘pattern' for that individual, and stopping or delaying anything that seems to be suspicious.

Despite criminals' ever advancing methods of attack, police can still disrupt and put an end to this activity, and as banks and police team up and pool their intelligence, these sorts of busts will hopefully become more and more commonplace.

Dave Divitt

Fraud & Risk Solutions Consultant

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