Infosec 2010: Retailers blamed for making shoppers vulnerable to fraud

By Dawinderpal Sahota
26 Apr 2010 View Comments
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Retailers across the UK are being blamed by consumers for leaving them vulnerable to card fraud

A tidal wave of credit card fraud and identity theft is sweeping the UK, according to IT security event organiser Infosecurity Europe.

The survey, which polled 1,000 London-based commuters, found that 44 per cent had suffered from bank or credit card fraud and 42 per cent had had their identity stolen. The average amount stolen was £1,448 per person and 37 per cent were not reimbursed by their bank.

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The majority of respondents (60 per cent) blamed retailers for making them vulnerable to fraud. Only 12 per cent blamed the banks and 28 per cent admitted that they had been careless with personal details.

Those who had lost small amounts of money were far less likely to be reimbursed by their bank than people who lost large amounts.

Some 91 per cent of people who had lost more than £5,000 were given their money back, while just 41 per cent of those who had lost less than £100 were reimbursed.

People are most likely to fall victim to scams online via websites or email, with 27 per cent of respondents saying this was how they were duped. However, 20 per cent said they had lost their details as a result of face-to-face transactions in shops or hotels.

Some 15 per cent were conned over the phone and other methods included rigged cashpoint machines, online banking scams and the interception of letters in the post. Each of these methods accounted for 13 per cent of bank fraud victims. A large proportion (42 per cent) of fraud took place while the victim was overseas.

“The incidence of bank card fraud and ID theft is very high, and perhaps not surprising given how ingenious criminals have become,” commented Claire Sellick, event director for Infosecurity Europe.

The event organiser claimed that fraud and ID theft changes peoples’ lives; over half of the victims surveyed said that their credit rating was worse as a result. And 37 per cent had stopped online banking.

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