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Internet Fraud and Internet Banking

Vladimir Golubev
Date: August 22, 2003

Cyber Crime Clients of the largest financial company Citigroup nearly fell the preys to the Internet - swindlers, trying to get the information on access to their bank accounts. The high level of e-commerce development in the USA pushes swindlers to search for ways of access to the personal data of Internet users. Now they do it under a name of quite respectable firms. Clients or companies engaged in electronic commerce, receive the e-mail which looks like a letter from the company. Client is asked to specify or confirm some information, having entered his personal data, for example number of a credit card or password for account access.

American Citigroup became the last victim of such fraud. The e-mail under a trade mark of the company offered to the clients "to familiarize and "accept" new terms of service. It was offered to enter four figures of a credit card's number for confirmation of the consent .

Representatives of Citigroup have declared that never ask clients to pass the important information in such way. And they together with law enforcement bodies investigate this incident.

Lately clients of Discover, eBay, PayPal, First Union and Massachusetts Lotteries became victims of the similar fraud .

The Internet Banking is still poorly advanced in Russia, therefore swindlers don't covet money of the most advanced clients of banks. Titbits are the numbers of plastic cards.

However Russian bankers diligently study experience of foreign colleagues. The main task is to get balance between system security and simplicity of commerce operations. Absolutely protected system will be so complex, that nobody will use it. However the main vulnerable part is a man, and bankers believe it is necessary to provide the "education" of clients, as well as "security".

Computer Crime Research Center

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