Launching a new awareness campaign, The UK Payments Administration noted that people are expected to spend 15 per cent more online in December this year than in the same month in 2008, according to research by the Interactive Media in Retail Group.
It said the good news is that 53 million cards have now been registered with the MasterCard SecureCode or Verified by Visa secure online payment systems, an increase of 112 per cent on last year.
The body advised consumers that as well as being registered with these systems, shoppers should also look for the padlock symbol when buying online, make sure their PCs are protected by anti-virus software and log out properly when shopping on the web.
Head of fraud control for The UK Cards Association Katy Worobec remarked: “We have recently seen the first ever fall in card fraud over the internet and, hopefully, this latest campaign will help even more of us stay free from fraud.”
Online payments service PayPal has said that only one in seven UK consumers are checking that the website they are buying through is a secure one.