Online banking losses and phishing attacks both recorded double-digit growth last year as UK customers continued to fall victim to online scams, according to figures released today by The UK Cards Association and Financial Fraud Action UK.
The two organisations reported a year-on-year increase in online banking losses to £59.7m in 2009, while phishing attacks rose by 16 per cent to reach over 51,000 during the period.
The increases are down to criminals using more sophisticated ways of targeting online banking customers, infecting PCs with malware rather than trying to attack back-end banking systems.
Stephen Ley, a partner in the payment team at consultancy firm Deloitte, argued that increased online banking fraud should be seen in the context of a rapid increase in the use of the systems.
"In the next year, clear customer information from banks will remain key to reducing fraud further. A better educated consumer is less likely to fall foul of phishing attacks," he said.
"Customers need to protect themselves on their computer, remaining vigilant and using good security software."
There was some good news for the e-commerce and banking industries. Phone, internet and mail order fraud, taken together as card-not-present fraud, dropped 19 per cent from £328.4m to £266.4m.
The figure represents the first drop over a 12-month period, and could be down to the increasing use of sophisticated fraud screening detection tools by retailers and banks, as well as continuing growth in the use of MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa authentication systems.
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