Online banking fraud rises by 132 per cent

Online banking fraud continues to grow, despite increased user awareness.

Figures released today by UK payments association Apacs showed online banking fraud losses had risen by 132 per cent last year, totalling 52.5 million in 2008.

Total card fraud losses for the year were 609.9 million, a rise of 14 per cent, and the lack of chip and PIN, especially with internet and phone purchases, was highlighted as a main factor in the increase.

Use of malware such as keylogging the ability to track keystrokes on a computer to gather passwords and credit card numbers has steadily grown as internet shopping and online banking has become increasingly popular.

In its report, Apacs said: "Although phishing incidents continue to increase, online banking customers are increasingly being targeted by malware attacks, which is why the industry continues to remind customers to ensure that they have their computer's firewall switched on and anti-virus software installed and kept up-to-date."

The report stated that the Metropolitan Police Service's Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU), will help tackle these losses by coordinating the work of police forces, the National Policing Improvement Agency and other agencies to improve standards of training, develop national proceedings and improve the police response to e-crime across the country.

The PCeU will also work with the National Fraud Reporting Centre (NFRC) to provide an enforcement response to technologically-enabled serious crime, and support other police forces on receiving intelligence data from the NFRC.

The statement from Apacs advised users: "To help avoid malware attacks, always ensure you have up-to-date anti-virus software installed, and ask for technical support if your computer starts acting oddly."

"Make sure you download from trusted internet sites the latest security updates, known as patches, for your operating system and application software. Set your computer to automatically download these updates if possible."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.