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Almost half of shoppers have suffered online fraud

31 October 2016 - 10:02 by David Aiken

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Forty five per cent of people have been hit by some form of criminal exploitation in the digital realm, with cybercrime levels on the rise, according to the latest report from MarkMonitor.

A fifth of those hit by this type of activity lost more than £1,000 with identity theft, card fraud and other malicious schemes siphoning cash away from innocent consumers.

Phishing scams involving social media are especially prevalent, with criminals conning people out of their login details using phoney emails and harnessing this to take over accounts, steal private data and more.

The good news is that consumers tend to be more trusting of e-commerce sites, with a solid overall trust rating scored by companies which attempt to offer safe shopping online.

Mobile apps made available by banks and building societies were also found to have instilled a degree of confidence in Brits, although it is clear that organisations need to do more to show that they are committed to keeping their customers safe online.

Cybercrime comes in a variety of forms and there are various tactics that criminals can deploy to target victims and relieve them of personal information or their hard earned cash.

Fake shopping sites set up to entrap bargain hunters are common and tend to be successful because they claim to offer impossibly good prices on popular items, so spotting them is fairly straightforward. People should only carry out safe shopping online with reputable retailers and also remember to keep their account details to themselves, as no legitimate site will ever ask its users to tell them their passwords at any point.

The rise in cybercrime is inevitable as more people use the web to shop, socialise and work. But by teaching people about the risks, it is possible to avoid the worst of the potential problems.