e-crime threat grows

The British Retail Consortium’s first e-crime study, which has been published this week, shows that e-crime is the biggest emerging threat to the UK retail sector. In proportion to the total value of sales, e-crime is twice as costly as overall retail crime.

It estimates that e-crime cost retailers a total of £205.4 million in 2011-12. This means e-crime represented 0.75% of the £28 billion of online retail sales in 2011. The most expensive type of e-crime for retailers was personal identification-related frauds (£20 million of losses). Card fraud was in second place (£15 million losses), and refund frauds were responsible for losses of £1.2 million. Phishing, the setting up of bogus websites, is also a problem for UK retailers and, shockingly, retailers also lost £111.6 million as honest customers abandoned purchases because of cumbersome security measures.

The UK has the biggest internet spend per-capita of any nation and 11% of global internet retail sales, so e-crime needs to be taken very seriously.