Bank fraud sparks the offer of a free IT check

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Insurance broker ECS is offering companies across the Sheffield City Region a free IT systems health check after one of its clients nearly lost £89,000 through banking fraud.

The £2 million turnover Sheffield-based engineering company was hit after one of the directors used the company bank card in Turkey.

Following his return, when the directors logged on to what they thought was the company’s online banking service and entered the usual authentication details, the screen went blank and, when they logged on using another computer, they discovered £89,000 had been taken from the company’s account.

“They can only assume that hackers had been able to create a ghost website on the company’s server and the information gathered from the use of the card in Turkey combined with the password and authentication information had enabled them to get into the bank account and remove funds,” explained an ECS spokesman.

The company contacted its bank immediately, but the transfer could not be stopped.

“After 48 hours and many phone calls the bank finally agreed to reimburse the money on the grounds that their own website was not as secure it should have been,” says ECS.

“The bank tried very hard not to compensate and there is no guarantee that any bank will automatically compensate. The loss of £89,000 could have ruined the business, or at least it would have been very painful.”

After hearing about its client’s problem, ECS launched its free IT health check for any company operating five or more computers and a server.