Half of UK adults (51%) are "not concerned" about Internet banking fraud, according to research commissioned by British banking group Lloyds TSB.
Despite this, the study of 1400 people conducted by Tickbox.net found that the vast majority of adults - 93% - realise that Web banking fraud is not a victimless crime.
The lack of concern about Internet fraud seems to be driven by the belief that little can be done to prevent it. Around a quarter of respondents (26%) say Internet fraud does not concern them because "these things happen", while 39% are not concerned because their bank will reimburse any losses. Almost half (48%) feel the convenience of Web banking outweighs the risk of fraud.
Commenting on the findings, Ian Larkin, MD, consumer banking, Lloyds TSB, says: "Some customers do believe fraud just happens, but sitting back and doing nothing is the surest way to turn this into a self-fulfilling prophecy."
Larkin says Internet fraud is an issue no one can afford to ignore: "Its impact stretches far beyond the customer whose money is taken and the bank it is taken from, with the proceeds often used to fund other more serious crime around the world."
Nine out of ten respondents (90%) to the survey said they have done all they can to avoid becoming a victim of online banking fraud, although only a fifth (20%) feel they fully understand how to stay safe on the Internet. Almost a quarter (24%) say they could be better informed about online security.
The study also found that older people feel more informed about onine fraud than younger people. Just 15% of 18-25 year olds feel "very well informed" about cyber crime, compared to 22% of 35-50 year olds and 29% of people over 65.
Earlier this year payments association Apacs revealed that online banking fraud rose 44% from £23.2m in 2005 to £33.5m in 2006.