420,000 scam emails sent every hour

More than 420,000 scam emails are sent every hour in the UK according to a report by CPP which estimates that Brits were targeted by 3.7 billion phishing emails in the last 12 months alone. A quarter of us admit to falling victim to e-fraudsters, with the average victim losing over GBP285 each.

Fake banking emails are the most common method used by criminals, with 55 per cent of those targeted receiving seemingly legitimate e-correspondence from high street banks. Over half received false lottery or competition prize draws, while a further one in two was targeted by foreign cons such as the renowned “Nigerian 419 advance fee fraud” scam.

And consumers must take caution, as latest industry figures show that online banking fraud rose by 14 per cent in the last 12 months. In fact, nearly half of Brits (46 per cent) worry their card details could be used to make illegal online purchases.

Fraudsters are also exploiting the explosion of social networking sites and current defaults in privacy settings to target victims. Nearly one fifth of Brits have received phoney Facebook messages claiming to be from friends or family. One in 10 fear that fraudsters are using Twitter to follow them and a third are concerned their social networking account could be hacked.

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