One click away from fraud?
Online fraud 'up 185%'
Matt Cooke, BBC London
An East London MP calls for a 'combined strategy' to combat the surge in on-line banking crime. But, what exactly is phishing, how can you spot it and how could it affect you?
Fraud detected within online banking has risen 185% in the first six months of 2008, according to APACS, the UK payments association.
In that period, banking scams amounted for £21.4m, that's up from £7.5m from January to June last year.
Now, the Conservative prospective Parliamentary candidate for Old Bexley & Sidcup, James Brokenshire MP, has called for action to tackle cybercrime.
Online fraud, also known as Phishing, can include Internet users receiving spam emails or links that take them to bogus websites.
In the UK, there were over 20,000 so-called Phishing attacks in the first six months of this year.
Greater public protection?
James Brokenshire is currently MP for Hornchurch and the Shadow Crime Reduction Minister.
He believes a 'comprehensive strategy' should be designed to provide greater public protection.
He said: “these figures set out starkly the rapid rise in on-line criminality. The Government has simply failed to grasp or get a grip on this huge menace."
Can legislation protect online users?
"Cybercrime is the fastest growing crime in the UK with opinion surveys suggesting that the public fear becoming a victim of on-line scams more than being robbed on the street, having their home burgled or their car broken into."
Scammers are using increasingly sophisticated methods to trick people into handing over personal information.
Security experts said users should be suspicious of any e-mail that asks them to verify confidential information.
So-called phishing cons have become increasingly common recently among tech-savvy criminals keen to steal cash from gullible users by making them hand over sign on or account details.
Most phishing attacks involve an e-mail that purports to be sent out by a legitimate organisation, such as a bank, that asks users to enter information on a special site.
Anyone following the instructions will unwittingly be handing over details to conmen who use them to empty the account of cash.
Often the fake websites are difficult to spot because they do a good job of reproducing the website of the company they are impersonating.
last updated: 06/10/2008 at 17:52