One in eight Brits hit by identity theft
The survey, conducted by research firm YouGov and backed by online security vendor VeriSign, polled roughly 2,100 adults in the UK. Some 12 per cent said that they had been a victim of online ID fraud within the past 12 months.
The researchers credited most of the losses to increasingly sophisticated attack methods, combined with larger numbers of users shopping online. Experts suggest that many users remain unaware of how to spot fraudulent sites and protect against data theft.
Researchers said that younger people tended to be less susceptible to the attacks. Just five per cent of those between the ages of 18 and 24 had fallen victim to such attacks. Meanwhile, users between the ages of 45 and 54 were found to be most vulnerable with 14 per cent admitting to being fraud victims.
Overall, those who had suffered online fraud attacks lost an average of £463 per person. Researchers estimate that £2.61bn has been lost over the past 12 months by UK consumers.
Geographically, the survey suggested that residents in Scotland were least likely to be attacked, with just eight per cent of respondents admitting to experiencing fraud. Wales had the largest percentage of victims at 20 per cent.