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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Reputable Banks Don't Go Phishing


There was a letter in The Independent yesterday from Stuart Dawkins at the Alliance and Leicester, about how the banks are not responsible for phishing scams and customers should be more vigilant.

I wrote a letter to the paper.

For some years now, I have been collecting phishing e-mails. My method of collection may not be one hundred percent scientifically correct, but as I collect about 1000 spam e-mails a day, it gives a pretty good indication of the scale of the problem.

In the last few weeks from the 17th May until the 20th June, I have collected a total of 1,727 phishing e-mails aimed at the customers of banks, credit cards and financial institutions . The break-down is as follows :-

Barclays - 1,236
Co-Operative Bank - 173
MBNA - 110
HSBC - 23
Lloyds TSB - 11
PayPal - 7
Halifax - 6
Egg - 4
Alliance and Leicester - 21
Abbey - 3
NatWest - 1

In addition there were 106 e-mails aimed at the customers of foreign banks. I used to get a lot more of this category of e-mails, but it would appear that they have substantially decreased.

Stuart Dawkins just gives the standard response, about how the banks don't send them and about not replying to such e-mails.

The banks may not send these e-mails, but I don't think they do enough to stop them and hence protect their customers. But then if the customer gets his account emptied by a crook, it's up to him to prove to the bank that he's been a victim of crime. So I can understand their apparent complacency.

It surprises me that seventy-one percent are aimed at Barclays. I leave everybody to draw their own conclusions.

James Miller
It will be interested if I get a response from any bank.

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