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Australian police probe Internet bank fraud

22 July 2002  |  5283 views  |  0 safe

Australian police have arrested three people in connection with a major fraud which reportedly netted millions of dollars from online bank accounts.

The fraud, which affected more than 100 bank customers, exploited major security weaknesses in an online bill payment service used by Australia's largest banks. The Bpay system allows customers who register with their banks to make or receive large value payments via the Internet or telephone banking channels.

The investigation has centred around a staff member at an un-named Australian bank who allegedly accepted payments for disclosing customer's confidential online account details. Two others have since been arrested on charges of laundering stolen funds through their own bank accounts.

The scam, which has been running since February this year, may have cost individual customers up to $15,000 each. In some cases, victims report being registered with Bpay without their knowledge before funds were transferred out of their accounts to pay for large ticket items such as a car. In some instances the fraudsters transferred the stolen cash into the vendor's account, then called to say they had changed their mind and had the funds returned to another clean account.

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