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Rise in online fraud predicted

08 January 2018 - 11:20 by Graham Miller

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2018 will be a year in which cybercriminals continue to target consumers with scams, with experts predicting that instances of digital deceit will rise over the coming months, according to the Independent.

Last year two million people reported that they had fallen victim to some kind of web-based act of fraud, with the Public Accounts Committee estimating that this represents just a fifth of the true total.

One of the biggest threats that people who want to carry out safe shopping online will face in 2018 will be posed by phishing campaigns that are controlled by artificial intelligence, rather than requiring humans to carry out the malicious work.

Automation will not only make it easier for crooks to attack larger numbers of web users, but could also make it tougher for people to detect that they are even being scammed in the first place.

This will be achieved through the use of machine learning algorithms that can tailor phishing messages and entire websites to engage more effectively with shoppers. Working out the difference between the genuine and the phoney will become more difficult, which should make people more vigilant this year.

Attempts to subvert safe shopping online will not just be made via email and fraudulent sites, but also other platforms, such as social media, where users are spending a lot more time. Bots have become problematic in the world of politics over the past couple of years, and will rise to prominence as a problem in the e-commerce market in 2018.

Consumers are also advised to avoid falling victim to ransomware, which will also leverage increased cybercriminal resources to become more sophisticated and create customised get-out clauses once devices become infected.

Shopping only with reputable sites and using up to date antivirus software, as well as avoiding all unsolicited emails, will keep people safe as threats increase.