Business

Online fraud 'costs UK £10.9bn a year'

Computer Image copyright PA

Annual fraud and cybercrime losses in the UK have grown to the equivalent of £210 per adult, according to research.

A total of £10.9bn was lost to the UK economy in the 12 months to April, prevention group Get Safe Online said.

Fraudulent emails and messages directing people to websites that gather victims' personal information are the most common con-trick, it said.

It urged people to use many different strong passwords and to ensure security updates are loaded.

"Online safety needs to be part of our everyday routines," said Tony Neate, chief executive of Get Safe Online.

Ransoms

Other tips for staying free from fraud included checking social media settings to ensure posts are only seen by trusted friends.

The group also urges people to back up their information such as documents and photos to hard drives or cloud storage.

Victims have found themselves suffering financial loss after hacks into email and social media. Others find themselves on the end of ransomware - when criminals block access to a device until the victims responds to a demand for money.

In September, bank-funded crime prevention group Financial Fraud Action said that a financial scam was committed once every 15 seconds on average in the first half of the year.

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