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Online fraud a growing worry for millions

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The Internet is fast becoming the place for big-time fraudsters to operate and concern is growing rapidly about the proliferation of new age virtual scams, according to a survey conducted by electronic payments company 3V.

Consumers in the UK now fear online rip-offs more than gun crime or climate change, and 48% of shoppers had serious doubts about using their credit or debit cards online as part of their retail UK investment. In addition, around 15% of respondents to the survey knew someone who has been directly affected by online fraud.

Last month, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) said that it had recorded a massive 8,000% rise in fake Internet banking scams in the past two years. Although it conceded that the amount of money stolen was relatively small, the psychological impact on UK investment in retailers was unsettling.

IT expert Steve Windsor said: “Chip and pin has to some extent lessened the opportunities for criminals on the High Street. They have therefore moved online to make money.

“You should be as careful on the Internet as you are anywhere else. You wouldn’t give out your PIN in a pub, for example, so why would you be just as careless online?”




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