�20m increase in online banking fraud

Losses worth millions of pounds have surged by 48 per cent over the last year in the UK due to online banking fraud, a financial organisation revealed on Friday.

Figures from Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) showed that £60.4m was lost in 2014 from £40.9m in 2013 and warned consumers to download anti-virus software.

The body urged people to make sure they have the latest security installed on their computers and not to open any suspicious links or emails as criminals are changing tactics to get their hands on people’s cash.

A growing number of scams aim to get people to simply hand over their financial details such as dates of birth, Pin numbers and passwords, instead of directly targeting payment technology and systems.

There is also the risk of fraudsters phoning out of the blue, pretending to be from a bank or the police.

Perry Stokes, head of the Dedicated Card and Payment Unit (DCPU), said: “If you're asked for your card details, Pin number or to transfer money to another account from someone who has cold-called you, my advice is to hang up the phone immediately and to report the incident to your bank.”

The number of online banking fraud loss cases last year was 53,192, which FFA UK said is still “relatively modest” given that about 26.9 million people in the UK now use online banking.

Losses on purchases using a card remotely, such as online, over the phone or by mail order, increased by 10per cent in 2014 to £331.5m. Of these figures, e-commerce card fraud losses increased by 14 per cent year-on-year to reach £217.4m.

FFA UK said fraud on contactless cards remains “very low”, representing just 0.7p in every £100 spent on contactless.

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