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Theft less likely online than in real world

Date 6 Nov 2006

People are at greater risk from fraud in the real world than they are on the internet, according to a survey by an online payment provider. The study by PayPal revealed that one in three Brits (35%) have had their bag, purse or wallet stolen, compared to just 15% who have experienced online fraud. The study also found that almost three quarters (71%) of the UK adult population know at least one person who has had one of these items stolen compared to less than a third (29%) of consumers who know someone who has been a victim of online crime.

The majority of the UK adults who had been a victim of such a theft were in a pub or club when it happened. However, one in seven of these crimes took place in their own workplace. Despite this, workers still believe they are safest at work with only 12% feeling at risk, compared to 89% who believe travelling abroad is the most risky.

Neil Edwards, Head of Financial Planning at PayPal UK, said: “Most people tend to spend more time at work than they do in their homes so it’s no wonder that they feel safest when at work. However, the workplace is the second most vulnerable place for fraud and consumers simply assume they are safe and trust those around them as much as family and therefore read out confidential bank details over the phone when purchasing something without a second thought…. It’s these people who struggle to trust the internet when buying products and our research highlighted the desire for an online solution which allows them to buy without having to give a host of details each time.”

The survey was carried out in September 2006, amongst 1,036 UK adults.

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