FSA warns of 8,000% rise in online fraud

15 December 2006
The UK has seen an 8,000 per cent increase in online banking scams in the past two years, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) told peers in a review of online banking security.

In a report to the House of Lords science and technology committee, the FSA said it was "very concerned" by the growth in 'phishing' emails, which are set to rise by 90 per cent for the second consecutive year.

Although many consumers are now wise to phishing scams, the total sum stolen fell only slightly from £23.2 million in the first half of 2006 to £22.5 million since July.

But the FSA's head of financial crime, Philip Robinson, remained "wary" about making the committee's findings public in case concerns were "misrepresented", telling the Lords committee internet banking was generally "safe".

His colleague Rob Gruppetta, however, warned that scams were becoming "more sophisticated" as Apacs security head Philip Whitaker described online fraudsters' approach as increasingly "industrialised".

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