Fake bank messages are most common but social network fraud is on the rise

420,000 scam emails sent every hour in UK

Brits receive over 420,000 scam emails every hour, researchers have found.

According to a study by life assistance company CPP, 3.7 billion phishing emails were sent in the UK over the last 12 months. A quarter of people have fallen victim to online scams, with the average victim losing over £285.

The research found that one person every seven seconds falls victim to fraudsters, with fake bank emails being the most common method (55 per cent).

Over half of victims received false lottery or prize draw notifications, while half were targeted by foreign cons.

Cyber criminals are also increasingly targetting social networking sites. Nearly a fifth of Brits have received fake Facebook messages claiming to be from friends or family.

Nicole Sanders, identity fraud expert at CPP, said: "It seems that not a day goes by without a new case of online fraud hitting the headlines. But what’s concerning is that consumers are still falling victim.”

Reformed computer hacker Robert Schifreen added: "Staying safe online is easy if you follow some basic precautions. Never type your credit card number, password, or any other confidential information into a web site unless its address begins with https and your browser displays the ‘closed padlock’ symbol. These indicate that the site is safe and that your data is encrypted.

"Also, make sure your antivirus software subscription is up to date and that your computer is configured to automatically download protective software."

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