These scam emails usually grab the recipient’s attention with a distressing heading announcing: "Your account has been hacked", "Change account password" or "Account blocked till further notice". They carry a link to a fraudulent website closely resembling that of a bank which includes the official logo and typically carries a log-in form requesting password, date of birth and memorable information. Armed with this knowledge, fraudsters are able to transfer funds to bank accounts across the globe in a matter of minutes.
Trading standards staff advise the public to take three essential steps to protect computers from phishing.
· Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date on a regular basis.
· Install and learn how to use a personal firewall.
- Download the latest security updates (or patches) for your web browser and operating system.
Trading Standards Manager Phil Glanville says: “Your bank will never send you emails or call you requesting security information such as the password for your account or your date of birth. If you receive a phishing email report it to your bank and do not pass on any information asked requested”.
Anyone who believes that they have been the victim of a phishing scam should contact their bank immediately and call Consumer Direct for advice on 08454 04 05 06 or visit www.consumerdirect.gov.uk.