Cost of online-banking fraud doubled in 2008

Payments industry association Apacs says the rise is due partly to more people accessing their bank accounts online, and the attention they attract from phishers

The cost of online banking fraud more than doubled in 2008.

According to figures from payments industry association Apacs, online-banking fraud reached £52.5m — a 132 percent increase on 2007's figure of £22.6m.

According to a spokeswoman for Apacs, the rise can be attributed partly to the increase in people accessing their bank accounts online, and the attention they attract from phishers.

"Hand in hand with a growing number of users behind the scenes, the fraudsters have woken up to that particular area of interest," she said.

Phishing attacks rose by 71 percent in the same period, while malware attacks designed to steal banking details have also grown.

"Whilst most people are aware notionally of phishing, there do seem to be a number of people that aren't taking steps to protect themselves from attack," the Apacs spokeswoman told ZDNet UK's sister site, silicon.com.

The value of card-not-present fraud — which covers transactions made by phone, internet or mail order where no physical card is handled by the retailer — also rose year-on-year.

Apacs found card-not-present fraud totalled £328.4m last year — up 13 percent since 2007's £290.5m — and now makes up more than half of all card fraud in the UK.

The spike in this type of fraud could partly be due to the increase in retailers accepting remote payments, as well as the increase in web shopping, according to Apacs.

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