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E-commerce fraud risks faced by female consumers

28 November 2011 - 12:24 by Sarah Collinson

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A new study has found that female consumers who carry out safe shopping online in the UK could be particularly easy targets for cybercriminals looking to con them into becoming victims of payment card fraud.

Only eight per cent of women who use e-commerce sites have protected their computers and connections using antivirus software and with increasing numbers of people turning to safe shopping online in order to bag a bargain, there is a much greater chance that malicious software and phishing sites will dupe innocent surfers.

The National Fraud Authority published these statistics and pointed out that while payment card fraud has fallen by 40 per cent in the past couple of years, it is still costing the economy up to £365 million every 12 months.

Fraudsters will be gearing up to take advantage of the Christmas rush as shoppers are likely to be less careful when they are on the lookout for a bargain or trying to nab that must-have item before it is too late.

Industry expert Katy Worobec, explained that greater vigilance was required this Christmas in order for consumers to avoid falling prey to cybercriminals.

The most basic way of keeping your card details and personal information safe is to only shop on sites which are legitimately operated and adhere to security regulations.

Of course it can be tough to tell the difference between a harmless e-commerce site and one which is set up to harvest your data, so you should make sure that your computer is protected with up to date antivirus software that also covers your web browsing sessions, which can alert you to unscrupulous web addresses before you visit them.

Most card providers have their own payment security systems, such as Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode, so be wary of sites which do not integrate such measures.