Press Association –
Almost one in two people receive bogus emails claiming to be from their bank, leaving thousands at risk of cyber-fraud, experts have warned.
According to a study by IT security company Kaspersky Lab, 47% of people have received bogus emails allegedly from a bank, and more than one in four (29%) have reported suspicious messages supposedly sent on behalf of an online store.
Nearly one in 10 had been automatically redirected at least once to a suspicious site asking them to enter their credit card details, and 5% said they had entered financial information on dubious sites.
The company surveyed 2,545 consumers across Europe in June on their attitudes and behaviours around IT Security.
Following the survey, Kaspersky and Barclays have warned people to be on their guard against such phishing attacks, which target important confidential financial data.
Kaspersky said the attacks often end in success, with about 4% of respondents reporting that they had lost money to cybercriminals.
David Emm, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, said: “There are a huge number of threats to consumers who choose to bank online, but they shouldn’t let this outweigh the numerous benefits it offers.
“As long as people take a few simple precautions, and employ good sense, there is no reason not to bank online.”
Alex Grant, managing director, Fraud Prevention, Barclays said: “These sorts of emails are a huge issue for all banks and our customers.
“The frequency of these scams and the professionalism with which they are orchestrated is ever- increasing.
“As such, it is an ongoing challenge, one which Barclays takes very seriously, to try and ensure customers, and their money, remain safe.
“These scam emails could appear to have come from any bank and we would advise individuals to think carefully before opening and responding to emails.
“Barclays emails will always be personally addressed, they will never say ‘Dear Customer’ and they will also contain the last four digits of the customer’s account number.
“The documents included in the email will also be password protected with information that will only by known by the customer.
“If any Barclays customer is suspicious of any correspondence or contact they’ve received – letter, email, telephone or even in person – they should contact us immediately.”
Kaspersky said using “combined technologies” including anti-phishing and protection programmes, such as its Safe Money technology, would help defend against financial threats and ensure the best available protection for online banking and payments.
The company said measures people should take can include using security software; always looking for the padlock, https or unbroken key symbol in a browser before entering personal details;and always typing the web address themselves instead of following links to a bank login.