A beauty contest winner has had money stolen from her bank account
IT security and control firm Sophos is reminding computer users
about the risks of identity theft and online fraud following
that Jade Saunders, the current beauty contest winner in the
British seaside town of Scarborough, has fallen foul of an email
The twenty year old student, who was crowned Miss Scarborough in
April this year and who is also a semi-finalist for Miss England
2008, had clicked on a link in an email purporting to be from her
bank which took her to a genuine looking website. By entering her
details on this convincing fake site, designed to con trusting web
users into entering their account information, Jade was providing
devious cybercriminals with all they needed to set up a standing
order on her account for £10,000 (approximately US $20,000).
Sophos experts remind computer users that they should never
respond to emails that request personal financial information and
check that the websites they are visiting are secure.
"Although these phishing attacks are nothing new, sadly Miss
Scarborough is unlikely to be alone in her misfortune," said
senior technology consultant for Sophos. "According to the
Anti-Phishing Working Group, phishers are able to convince up to
five per cent of recipients to reply to the kind of email sent to
Jade, but this needn't be the case if simple habits are learnt.
Reputable companies don't ask their customers for passwords or
account details in email, so even if you think a message from your
bank may be legitimate, don't follow any links, instead visit your
bank's website by typing its address into your web browser."
"Businesses need to be on their guard against phishing attacks
too," continued Cluley. "It's important that companies have
properly defended their staff against attacks which can aim to
steal corporate information as well as personal data."
Sophos recommends that all computer users ensure their computer security is up to date and that they are
fully protected against the latest spam, email and web threats.