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Thursday, Jun 10, 2004

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Money & Banking - Private Banks


e-mail fraud on ICICI Bank customers

Vipin V. Nair

The ICICI Bank spokesman said the bank had alerted the cyber crime cells about the spam mails. But the origin of the spam mail had not been traced.

Kochi , June 9

ONLINE fraudsters targeted ICICI Bank customers through spam mail that asked them to disclose passwords and other information, but the bank said no financial loss was reported so far.

E-mails from `support@icici.com' with the subject `Important information from ICICI Bank' and `Official information from ICICI Bank' started circulating from Monday. Once opened, the mail asked customers to click on a link.

"For security purposes your account has been randomly chosen for verification. To verify your account information we are asking you to provide us with all the data we are requesting. Otherwise we will not be able to verify your identity and access to your account will be denied. Please click on the link below to get to the ICICI secure page and verify your account details. Thank you," the e-mail said.

The ingenuity of the e-mail is striking as when clicked on the link, it opens a Web page that is an exact replica of ICICI Bank's and simultaneously opens the bank Web site.

Customers were asked to key in their identification number, login and fund transfer passwords. The link, however, didn't work on Wednesday.

An ICICI Bank spokesman said so far no financial loss was reported because of the fraud. "It's not easy to say how many of our customers have got it. First, we felt it will be a large number. But now our assessment is it's a small number," the spokesman said.

ICICI Bank sent e-mail to its customers, warning them about the fraud and urging not to respond to such mails. "Such fraudulent communication may also be sent via SMS or the phone," the bank said.

The ICICI Bank spokesman said the bank has alerted the cyber crime cells about the spam mails. But the origin of the spam mail had not been traced, he said.

Such fraudulent mails are becoming rampant across the world as Internet banking has grown in popularity.

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