According to a survey commissioned by Internet security outfit VeriSign, one in eight of the UK's adult population have fallen victim to online ID fraud in the last year.
The YouGov survey of over 2000 Brits found that these fraud victims have had on average £463 stolen, with a quarter claiming to still be in dispute over compensation for the money taken. In total, £2.65 billion was stolen online from UK consumers in the last 12 months.
Despite the high proportion of victims, VeriSign says British Web users are conscientious when it comes to online shopping. Over three quarters (82%) of respondents claim to buy only from sites with enhanced security settings.
Young people are less likely to be hit by criminals, with only five per cent of 18 to 25 year olds stating that they have been online ID fraud victims, compared to 14% of people aged 45 to 54.
Londoners are the most careless about buying online, with 25% stating that they don't bother checking whether a Web site has enhanced security settings before buying from it, as opposed to only 10% of respondents from Northern Ireland.
The Welsh are the biggest victims of online fraud, with 20% stating that they had experienced ID fraud in the last year, compared to only eight per cent of Scots.
Richard Hurley, communications manager, Cifas, says: "Increasing numbers of cost-conscious consumers are now shopping online, and whilst the rise in online spending is great for online retailers, it opens up a Pandora's Box of security threats. Cyber criminals are undoubtedly getting more devious, but consumers can easily lessen the likelihood of online fraud by stepping up their own awareness of how they can protect themselves online."