Fraud hits online bankers

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Hundreds of Barclays Bank customers have received a fraudulent email that attempts to trick them into disclosing confidential details.

The email asks online banking customers to follow a link to what appears to be a Barclays website, where they are prompted to enter details such as their membership number and password.

Barclays said in a statement that it had warned customers about the scam and was taking action to close down the fraudulent websites. "Barclays is in no way involved with this email and the website does not belong to us," it said.

"Barclays is taking the necessary action against the fraudulent websites and closing these down as we become aware of them."

It is believed around 400 online customers have contacted the bank to complain about the email. Confidential details that have been disclosed to an unknown party could be used to transfer money to other accounts, but Barclays has promised to cover any losses. As a precaution, the bank has imposed a temporary £500 limit on daily payments made by online customers.

Customers are being told that Barclays does not send emails requesting confidential information, and that the bank only asks for two letters of a password to log on. Anyone who is prompted to enter their full password should not provide the information, the bank added.