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UK Consumers Have Lost £500 Each Through Online Crime

Two-fifths of UK consumers have been a victim of cybercrime with phishing topping the list, according to new research from GMX.

The email provider polled over 2000 Brits last month to better understand the impact and extent of online threats.

It found that half of those netizens affected lost money as a result. The average lost was £565 ($720), although 1% of respondents said they lost over £10,000.

Phishing and “misuse of data” were the most common forms of cybercrime, each accounting for 11% of answers. Next came malware (10%), fake e-stores (7%), online extortion (6%), and charity fraud (5%), where recipients are tricked into donating to spoofed worthy causes.

The over-55s were least likely to be victims of online crime, with 73% claiming they had never been caught out, versus 47% of those aged 16-24. This could be because older netizens are more cautious online, and/or that they spend less time on the internet.

The email firm urged consumers to remember its “three Cs”: context, common sense and charity aware.

The news comes as the busy online Christmas shopping period is well underway, with Brits expected to spend billions at their favorite e-commerce stores. They were predicted to have splashed out £5bn on Black Friday alone, half of which was online.

Security vendor Sonicwall claimed that UK phishing scams soared 648% year-on-year this Cyber Monday. It recorded 2535 attacks over the course of Monday and 11,433 for the week around this busy shopping weekend, a 436% increase on the same period in 2017.

With the run-up to Christmas still the busiest time for online shoppers in the UK, the firm warned that consumers could be deluged by phishing and similar scams, eroding trust in the brands they shop with and hitting stores’ profits.

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