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Hackers Cash $9M in Forged Checks with New Online Scam

Scammers Turn to Checks
High-tech criminals have apparently adopted a decidedly low-tech methodology in the latest banking scam. Hackers are forging and cashing checks in order to slip past their victims' defenses. Rather than snagging passwords and initiating electronic transfers, these scammers are hacking into sites that store images of checks for banks, check cashing outlets and other businesses. From these images, hackers are able to harvest routing and account numbers, as well as the account holder's signature. Then, with some commercially available software and a consumer-grade printer, they are able to create fake checks that are often only identified as such after they've cleared and the crooks have made off with the money.

The scam was discovered by SecureWorks, which is now working in close conjunction with the FBI to identify and hopefully apprehend the thieves, who have cashed $9 million in fake checks across 1,200 different accounts. It's believed the responsible group is based in Russia, which could make charging and arresting suspects difficult. With pen-and-ink checks becoming increasingly unnecessary in our digital world, this is just another reason to forgo traditional paper checks in favor of more secure e-checks. [From: Boston Globe]

Tags: banking, banks, check, checks, CheckWriting, crime, forgery, hack, identitytheft, scam, scams, security, top