Fraudsters use Bank's email address

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The Independent Online

The Bank of England's name and e-mail address has been used by suspected fraudsters who have sent people more than 100,000 e-mails that contain a virus.

The Bank has warned recipients to delete the e-mail, which comes from the admin@bankofengland.co.uk address and asks people to download a file that is supposed to protect the security of their personal and account information. "Both the e-mail and attachment are fraudulent," the Bank said.

A spokesperson for the central bank said that 115,000 to 120,000 had replied to the e-mail - these responses went to the Bank of England.

It is not known how many people have received the e-mail altogether. The spokesperson said the Bank had launched an investigation but it was unclear where the e-mail had originated from. She said it was also unclear what the e-mail was supposed to achieve but it did contain a virus. "We have no evidence as to what the e-mail actually does," she said.

It is likely that the e-mail is a ploy to get the personal bank details of those that open the attachment.

The Bank has called in the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, a specialist law enforcement organisation set up by the Government in 2001, to investigate. It is not known where the e-mail has come from and it is the first time the Bank has been the target of internet crime in this way.

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