French president becomes online fraud victim

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PARIS – French president Nicolas Sarkozy has become the latest high-profile victim of online ‘phishing’ fraud. Sarkozy – currently leading France’s six-month spell in the EU presidency – became aware of the attack when funds were removed from his account.

Government officials confirmed small amounts of money were removed from Sarkozy’s online personal bank account, attracting his attention and causing him to contact the police. It is believed internet criminals obtained his login and password details through an internet phishing scam – whereby a fake email or website fools a consumer into divulging personal or account information.

Responding to questions about the incident on French radio, the French secretary of state Luc Chatel highlighted a 9% rise in online bank security breaches this year, saying the cases are “sufficiently serious for us to reflect on how to improve the system”.

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