London police hunting online account hackers

Police in London are hunting a gang of online thieves that hacked into bank accounts and stole hundreds of thousands of pounds. According to a report by UK newspaper The Times, the gang hacked into private bank accounts and used confidential customer details to order new debit and credit cards which were used to buy expensive jewellery, electronic goods and euros.

Detective constable Keith Harrington from the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit told reporters that the thieves used a method called ‘account take over’ to gather enough private customer data to convince a bank that they were the legitimate account holders before ordering a new card and PIN.

Harrington says one case involved the gang using a technique called ‘social engineering’ where a gang member called staff and feigned memory loss in order to get customer account data.

Barclays Bank has managed to intercept much of the fraud and is believed to have stopped at least ÂŁ500,000 being stolen from clients, says The Times.

The report says in one case the gang managed to acquire enough data about one victim to have ÂŁ60,000 transferred from his mortgage reserve account to his current account, which it then stole.

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