One in eight Brits have been the victim of online fraud with an average loss of £463 each.

A YouGov survey commissioned by VeriSign showed that in the last 12 months, £2.61 billion was stolen online from UK consumers. It also found that 14 per cent are still waiting to be reimbursed fully for the money that was stolen from them.

The survey was commissioned to launch the VeriSign Online Fraud Barometer with the launch of a consumer campaign website at www.trustthetick.co.uk.

Richard Hurley, communications manager at CIFAS, said: “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.

“Cybercriminals 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. The launch of the VeriSign Online Fraud Barometer will allow us to track the current threat landscape further, with specific focus on online threats, and it is important that companies like CIFAS and VeriSign work to combat fraud and offer sound advice to consumers.”

“Research reveals that there isn't a relationship between the number of people who check a website's security and those who have been scammed.” There are still too many out there who simply don't know the danger signs to look for when buying online. We're committed to measuring fraud in the UK to raise awareness of this issue, and promise to educate the public with regular campaigns on what they should be looking for before buying online.”

Martin Mackay, VeriSign's vice president of EMEA, claimed that the research will be done every six months to gain trends in identity fraud.

Mackay said: “One in eight is a significant percentage of people who are suffering from fraud so we have set up the website which has information on how to protect yourself online with information on different types of fraud to mitigate risk. This includes making sure a website is safe, not downloading an email attachment and ensuring your WiFi at home is secure.”

Commenting on the causes and reasons for fraud, Mackay said: “I believe that there are two principal causes but I do not have statistics on these: firstly people are falling for phishing websites, and secondly where there is no anti-virus and a user gets malware that allows a man-in-the-middle, man-in-the-browser or keylogger to be downloaded.

“A total of 14 per cent have reported and are waiting to be reimbursed. People have been victims and have not been fully reimbursed, if you have had £463 stolen it is a significant amount of money and it can be very problematic.”