Computer Crime Research Center


Online banking is open for fraudsters

Date: May 24, 2006
By: Campbell Gardiner

Online banking is providing “unprecedented” levels of opportunity for fraudsters according to a Unisys financial services expert who yesterday presented the results of a 2005 study into global identity fraud to an audience of finance boffins in Wellington.

The study, which surveyed bank customers in eight countries, found that two thirds of respondents worry about identity fraud and the safety of their accounts. Almost half of the respondents are willing to switch banks for better protection from identity fraud and more than a third are willing to pay additional bank fees for better protection.

The study found that biometrics including fingerprint scans is the preferred method to fight identity crime, followed by smart cards, tokens and passwords.

Most respondents believed that financial institutions are responsible for preventing identity theft. Presenter Graham Alston, Unisys’ Wellington-based global financial services partner, says this entails several costs for banks including loss of reputation, customer defection and operational costs. He says we have only seen the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of the cost a bank might incur through identity theft.
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