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Online banking fraud falls by a third

Karl Flinders

Losses from online banking fraud have dropped by a third in a year, even as the number of people using the services continues to increase.

Figures from the Association of Payment and Clearing Services (Apacs) revealed total losses for online banking fraud were £22.6m in 2007, compared to £33.5m in 2006.

The number of UK citizens using an online banking service has increased from 3.5 million seven years ago to more than 21 million last year. This accounts for about a third of the UK population and is more than half of internet users.

Criminals are still using phishing to commit fraud, tricking users into divulging account details, because the security systems used by banks are difficult to attack.

And the number of phishing scams is increasing. According to Apacs, 20,000 phishing incidents were reported in the first half of this year, an increase of more than 180% compared to the same period last year.

Apacs has published a Banking Safely Online advice guide and set upwww.cardwatch.org.uk to help customers avoid falling foul of these attacks.

An Apacs spokeswoman said fraud is dropping because of a combination of user awareness of scams such as phishing and banks proving stronger security.

"People are more aware of the risks and banks have made their systems more secure and are offering customers additional security products," she said.





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