St George detects net fraud

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Customers of St George bank and users of recruitment website have been the victim of an internet banking fraud in which thousands of dollars were transferred offshore.

It is believed the perpetrators of the fraud obtained customer details via internet recruitment agency, a spokesperson for St George, Rebecca Taylor told iTNews. It is possible that other banks could be impacted by the scam, Taylor said.

At least two to three accounts were impacted by the scam, but thousands of dollars were transferred, Taylor said.

"It was not a breach of St George's internet banking security platform," she said. St George has reimbursed the customers in this instance.

The scam appears to work by duping people seeking jobs through the recruitment site. According to Taylor, the scam prompts these people to send their bank details to a person that promised to hire them.

It is also suspected that malicious code was on the personal computers of a few customers, which allowed a criminal to read a person's key strokes when they enter their card, pin and customer reference number.

The money was reportedly transferred to an account in Estonia.

Taylor was unwilling to disclose how St George became aware of the scam, but said the bank has systems in place that pick up transaction activity that is unusual in nature, such as in size and regularity of the amount of money transferred.

"We don't want to alert people, or possible criminals, to the systems we use to do that," she said.

Although it is not the first incident of internet banking fraud, Taylor said it the first fraud incident that St George is aware of in which an employment website was used.

Recently major banks warned customers of a scam in which a hoax website hoodwinked bank customers into disclosing their PIN details and banking passwords by logging onto a dummy internet website set up to look like the bank's website.

St George is working with the Australian Federal Police in investigating the matter.

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