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Credit card fraud and ID theft ‘tidal wave’ hitting UK, with online retailers to blame, says study

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A survey of 1000 commuters in London has found that there is a tidal wave of credit card fraud sweeping the capital – and the vast majority of its victims blame retailers, especially online, for the loss of their details.

According to researchers from Infosecurity Europe, an Information security event taking place at Earls Court, London this week, 44% of people said they have suffered from bank/credit card fraud and 42% have had their identity stolen. The type of organisation that most people blame for making them vulnerable to fraud were retailers at 60%, whilst only 12% blamed the banks, and 28% said it was their own fault that they had lost money or had their identity stolen.

The place that people said that they were most likely to have their details stolen from was online via websites or email with a quarter (27%) saying that this was how they were duped, a fifth (20%) said that face-to-face transactions in shops, hotels etc was how they lost their details. Being duped over the phone was the third most likely place to have details stolen with 15% of details being stolen this way.

Other ways that details were taken included cash point machines; online banking; and letters being intercepted in the post with each if these three methods having a likelihood of 1 in 10 (13%). People also said that they could not relax their guard when they were out of the UK as 42% of fraud happened to them whilst they were overseas and 58% whilst said it was whilst they were in the UK.

Claire Sellick Event Director for Infosecurity Europe says of the study: “The incidence of bank/credit card fraud and ID theft is very high, perhaps this is not surprising given how ingenious criminals have become. This is particularly true for online transactions and interactions as people are easily duped by offers that seem too good to turn down, pass on their details due to email phishing scams, act on phone calls from people claiming to be from their bank, or failing to check what post they throw away. There is a constant battle between the criminals and security experts and Infosecurity Europe is the event where the people who protect us all come to gain an insight into the latest technology and services to keep us safe from the criminals.”

ID Theft changes peoples’ lives, as the research shows that the affect of fraud has been significant as over half of people that were subject to fraud or ID theft said that their credit rating was worse, 37% had stopped online banking, and 34% stopped online shopping. In terms of reporting fraud and ID theft 78% reported to the police, 69% reported to their bank or credit card company and 14% reported to the retailer, and 11% did not report the incident to anyone.

The overall sample said that they trusted online banking with 70% saying that they did, 36% said that they trusted websites from brands that they already knew and only 19% would buy from any website.

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