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December 13, 2006

UK online banking fraud increases by 8,000%

Online banking fraud has increased by 8,000% in the UK, according to the government's financial watchdog, the Financial Services Authority.

By CBR Staff Writer

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has revealed that over GBP23.2 million was stolen in the first half of 2006 via internet scams, or phishing. Around the same amount is expected to be recorded for the second half of the year.

Banking trade association Apacs says that, between January and June 2005, 312 phishing incidents were recorded. This year, the figure has surged to 5,059. Apacs security chief Philip Whitaker said that the increase has resulted from better detection, but that fraudsters were also becoming more industrialized in their approach.

One bank is allegedly being targeted more than others, but Apacs has decided not to name the bank in question, saying it would breach confidentiality and may give the impression that the bank’s security system is worse than its competitors.

Rob Gruppetta, from the FSA’s financial crime team, said that phishing is rapidly increasing in the UK, but in the grand scheme of total fraud, is still quite small.

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