A Field Day for Financial Cyber-Scammers

We highly recommended this article to our Twitter friends and we wanted to recommend it to our Blog readers as well. It is from BusinessWeek and an excerpt is below:

When rumors swirled in late September that regulators had brokered a deal for Citigroup (C) to buy Wachovia (WFC), cybercriminals capitalized on the chaos. An estimated 5,000 Wachovia customers received a fraudulent e-mail instructing them to update their accounts in anticipation of the merger. Many gave the hackers Social Security numbers and other sensitive financial information. Wachovia posted an alert within 24 hours, and Wells Fargo (WFC) emerged as the buyer a few days later. But the damage had been done. “It’s us against these criminals,” says Matt Wadley, a spokesman for Wachovia, which is helping those duped by the fraud.

The toxic combination of a weak economy and a widespread banking crisis is offering an opening for criminals who operate online to steal valuable financial information. Cybercrime was up 53% in 2008, according to a report by security consultant McAfee (MFE). Says Nikos Passas, a professor at Northeastern University who specializes in organized crime: “With rising unemployment and a deepening recession, you have a growing number of desperate people.”

To read the rest of the article, please visit BusinessWeek here.

One thought on “A Field Day for Financial Cyber-Scammers

  1. David Scott

    I own a small hosting company. I see these scam emails arrive and get bounced every few days. The emails all come from isp’s or hosting companies who do nothing to stop this. They know who an IP address is assigned to. If I were the ISP, I would have law enforcement at that person’s door the next day. These it departments either don’t care or don’t want to do anything about it. Often, the ISP’s are also the hosts of the scam websites. I’m appalled at the lack of action on their parts. The current offending ISP is Verizon, but it has been Bell South in the past. I complain to deaf ears.

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