Monday, 2 July 2012

Attention Internet Bankers

Security warnings about banks/credit cards./mobile phones/phishing/and other scams seem to arrive in my inbox every other day. Some of them are  alarmist and some are common sense.
I am passing on the following story verbatim because it happened to  a friend who is particularly aware of the risks and still got caught.
If your mobile phone suddenly stops working with the error "Sim registration
failure" or similar and it is the number associated with your internet
banking account check what's happening on your bank account. My mobile was
barred last Friday at 10:44 am after someone phoned Vodafone to report it
missing. By 11:09 some lowlife ba$tard had extracted almost £3k from my
current account. (it was an unusually high balance due to having imminent
bills for a boiler and some double glazing) It appears that said lowlife
reports your mobile stolen, hoping to get calls diverted to a number of
their choice in case the bank rings about the unusual transaction activity
on your account. Luckily Vodafone will only apply a divert if the caller can
prove they are the mobile account holder. In this case, Halifax spotted the
unusual account activity by the 4th transaction and locked the bank account.
They then assured me that the missing money will be replaced by tomorrow now
that I have scanned my IT equipment for nasties and the account has been
re-activated with new security information. So, the moral of the story is,
don't be complacent when your phone stops working - I was originally going
to wait until I could get to a Voda-shop to get the SIM checked but after
not being able to access my bank account, I rang them to sort the phone out
and discovered the link. 
As they used to say on Crimewatch - 
Be careful but don't have nightmares. 

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