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Last Updated: Friday, 19 October 2007, 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK
Fraudsters 'phish' for bank info
Computer screen and keyboard
Consumers are warned not to reply to the "phishing" emails
Consumers in South Lanarkshire have been warned to look out for a fake e-mails "phishing" for bank details.

The message looks like it has come from the Nationwide Building Society and asks customers to update their security information.

However, Trading Standards officers, have warned that fraudsters are using the information to access bank accounts and steal cash.

Anyone who has received an e-mail is urged not to reply.

The Nationwide scam is the latest example of "phishing" - a phrase which stems from the use of complex lures by fraudsters to "fish" for financial information and passwords from unsuspecting users.

Accounts emptied

Peter Sherry, Trading Standards manager at South Lanarkshire Council said: "Fraudsters are sending out high volumes of e-mail which, in many cases will look remarkably genuine, including company logos and ID numbers.

"No bank or building society will ever ask you to submit such information via e-mail or require you to log-on to 'confirm' your details.

He warned: "If you supply the information requested then do not be surprised if your bank account is emptied of substantial amounts of your hard-earned cash."

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