Page last updated at 12:29 GMT, Thursday, 21 January 2010

Young facing online fraud risks

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Young people are most at risk from online fraud, according to two surveys.

Those aged between 16 and 24 were the most likely to be defrauded in the UK with the typical theft amounting to £590, said insurance group CPP.

A separate global survey by security group RSA found that 35% of those asked felt secure when banking online.

Both polls also found that many relied on their bank to inform them of thefts and highlighted fears about the security of social networking sites.

Online shopping

The CPP survey said that young people were more likely to shop and "conduct more of their lives" online. As a result, they were more at risk of fraud.

Online criminals are adept at social engineering with at-the-ready phishing attacks
Christopher Young, RSA

Their use of social networking forums increased the possibility of posting sensitive personal information online, the report noted.

However, it pointed out that "internet savvy" young people were more aware than older generations about how they have been defrauded.

The amounts being stolen have dropped slightly compared with a year ago, however most consumers have any online payment fraud losses covered by their bank.

The separate global survey by RSA suggested that "phishing" attacks - when fraudsters trick people into entering their personal details on a website or by e-mail - have risen in the last two years.

"These online criminals are adept at social engineering with at-the-ready phishing attacks that are launched within moments of breaking news about popular celebrities, professional athletes or serious global events," said Christopher Young from RSA.

Websites can be infected by software that tracks people's keystrokes on their computers, allowing fraudsters access to passwords.



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