One in Eight Brits Falling Victim to Online ID Fraud

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A YouGov survey commissioned by VeriSign Inc. the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world, has revealed that twelve percent of the UK population has been a victim of online ID fraud within the last twelve months.  The research found that these fraud victims have had on average 463 stolen, with 14 percent still waiting to be reimbursed fully for the money that was stolen from them.

The survey found that in general British web users are conscientious when it comes to online shopping.  Eighty two percent of respondents claimed to buy only from sites with enhanced security settings, with three percent more women claiming to check security before they buy online.  However the research shows that in the last 12 months 2.61 billion was stolen online from UK consumers.  Many victims claimed to have been extra careful when buying online but the UK population is still experiencing fraud. This highlights the need for more education on how to protect yourself when shopping on the Internet.

Richard Hurley, Communications Manager at CIFAS, commented, Increasing numbers of cost-conscious consumers are now shopping online, and whilst the rise in online spending is great for online retailers, it opens up a Pandoras Box of security threats. Cyber criminals are undoubtedly getting more devious, but consumers can easily lessen the likelihood of online fraud by stepping up their own awareness of how they can protect themselves online. The launch of the VeriSign Fraud Index will allow us to track the current threat landscape further, with specific focus on online threats, and it is important that companies like CIFAS and VeriSign work to combat fraud and offer sound advice to consumers.

The survey was commissioned to launch the VeriSign UK Fraud Index (a bi-annual barometer of online fraud in the UK) and is supported by an ongoing campaign to educate the public on how to protect yourself online more details can be found at

Research reveals that there isnt a relationship between the number of people who check a websites security and those who have been scammed. said Martin Mackay, VeriSigns vice president of EMEA. There are still too many out there who simply dont know the danger signs to look for when buying online. Were committed to measuring fraud in the UK to raise awareness of this issue, and promise to educate the public with regular campaigns on what they should be looking for before buying online.

The survey also uncovers trends and habits in online shopping, including:

         Fewer 18-24 year olds have been de-frauded, with only five percent stating that they had been online ID fraud victims
         People aged 45-54 are defrauded most often, with 14 percent claiming to have been victims of online ID fraud
         Londoners are the most careless about buying online, with 18 percent stating that they dont bother checking whether a website has enhanced security settings before buying from it, as opposed to only 9 percent of respondents from Northern Ireland
         The Welsh are the biggest victims of online fraud, with 20 percent stating that they had experienced ID fraud in the last year
         Scots are least likely to fall victim to ID fraud, with only eight percent stating that they had been defrauded online in the last twelve months

The following tips, which can be found in detail on the Trust the Tick Web site,, are crucial to being safe when shopping online.

Protect your computer by adding a personal firewall and anti-virus software. Disconnect from the Internet when youre not online, and if youre using a laptop create a password thats required to access any information.

Keep your passwords safe - don't share passwords, change them often and don't choose one that can be easily guessed. Where possible use two-factor authentication - where the second password is generated from a device and is a number that changes every time you log-in.

Verify the Web site you are on is safe. Before entering your payment details into any website, check that the URL begins with https the s stands for secure. If a site has obvious typographical errors, or no evidence of security information, avoid it. If in doubt, click on the VeriSign tick to verify a sites identity, and if possible use a high security web browser that displays the green EV SSL address bar.

Dont download email attachments or click on a link in an email unless it's from someone you trust and never provide sensitive information in an email. Remember that financial websites will never tell you that you must provide your username, password, PIN or other sensitive information in an email; fraudsters will.

Ensure you are using a secure Wi-Fi network. Set up a password to secure your home wireless network and avoid buying online or checking bank and investment websites on a public Wi-Fi network. 
VeriSign is working towards a safer experience online.  The company is urging consumers concerned about their security to visit to find out more about how they can protect themselves online and identify the Web sites that are safe for sharing personal details and completing financial transactions.

About VeriSign 

VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) is the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world. Billions of times each day, VeriSign helps companies and consumers all over the world engage in communications and commerce with confidence.


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