Identities sold online for £80
A frightening fact was put forward by the security experts yesterday that thieves are selling complete stolen identities online for as little as £80, and later, that each person’s details can earn internet fraudsters about £15,000.
In the past four years, banking frauds have doubled thus making it easier than ever to fall foul of internet identity theft.
The credit card details, plus the cardholder's name, address, passport and driving license numbers are included in the stolen personal data.
Through a study conducted for Get Safe Online Week, it was discovered that same password is used by one in five people for all their internet logins, leaving them wide open to hacking. It was also found that half of the people who were surveyed, did not very often update their anti-virus software.
Surprisingly, a quarter did not have any protection against spyware.
“The costs of protecting yourself online were relatively small compared to the potential losses from having your identity stolen,” Tony Neate, managing director of GetSafeOnline.org, said.
He added, “We are actively encouraging more people to go online, but we must ensure that they are safe and secure. If internet users invest a relatively small amount of time and money in ensuring they are fully protected and up-to-date, the risk of such financial loss is almost negligible.”
“To install the essential software and learn about the key safety measures takes a matter of a few hours - a small but worthwhile inconvenience compared to the potential loss,” Mr. Neate further added.
Annually, nearly 100,000 consumers are affected. According to the payments association Apacs, “The level of online banking fraud has doubled from its 2004 level and cost £22.6 million last year.”
Nearly 1,400 adults were interviewed by the ICM in the UK with the help of online survey and portals.