Bank and mortgage firm scammed for thousands

LOSSES & LAWSUITS

LONDON – UK identity theft fraudsters have scammed a bank and a mortgage provider for thousands of pounds, including 'phishing' £60,000 from the Barclays account of one IT director.

The gang is being hunted by the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit, which described them as highly ambitious. They attempted to obtain loans and credit cards under a false name, hacking into the online accounts and then setting up new credit card accounts used to buy expensive electronic goods, jewellery and foreign currency.

Barclays reimbursed the IT director whose accounts had been compromised, but the event has raised questions about both bank and mail security. Barclays declined to comment during the investigation.

A number of UK banks are fighting back by introducing new security measures to counter fraudsters' efforts. Lloyds has launched a trial of number-generating key fobs, and Barclays has tested chip and pin card readers for its customers.

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