Credit card fraud rises with recession

Phishing attempts worst in UK


Consumers are being warned that criminals are taking advantage of the banking collapse in the UK to steal credit card details.

According to credit reference agency Equifax, the UK has been the worst-hit country for so-called phishing attacks in the past year. Phishing attacks involve fraudsters sending emails to consumers, purporting to be from a reputable organisation such as a bank. They then request credit card or other account information, claiming it is needed to update files for some reason, such as a recent merger.

With the movement in the UK's banking sector over recent months, Brits have been a prime candidate for attack, according to Neil Munroe, external affairs director at credit agency Equifax. "Fraudsters think nothing of taking advantage of a bad situation for their own gain, which is precisely why consumers need to be cautious," he said.

"Phishing scams look legitimate, but a real bank would never ask customers to confirm security information in this way. We advise anyone who has received emails like this to delete them immediately and never reply to them," said Mr Munroe.


Published: 9 March 2009