Retailers hit by £205m e-crime bill

A pioneering study of e-crime has revealed that e-crime cost UK retailers at least £205.4 million in 2011-2012

The first e-crime study from the British Retail Consortium, published on 22 August, found that the bill included £77.3 million in losses from frauds themselves as well as prevention costs and legitimate business lost as a result of those measures.

The most costly type of e-crime for retailers was personal identification-related frauds, which produced £20 million of losses in 2011-12. Card fraud was in second place, with £15 million in losses, and refund frauds were responsible for £1.2 million in losses.

Retailers also lost £111.6 million to e-crime as a result of genuine business being rejected because of crime prevention measures, for example honest customers being deterred from continuing with an online purchase by additional online security measures.

Although the UK has the biggest internet spend per capita of any nation and 11 per cent of global internet retail sales, of those questioned n the BRC survey, 60 per cent said it was unlikely they would report any more than ten per cent of e-crimes to police.

British Retail Consortium Director General Stephen Robertson, said: “The rapid growth of e-commerce in the UK shows it offers great benefits for customers but also new opportunities for criminals.

“Online retailing has the potential for huge future commercial expansion but government and police need to take e-crime more seriously if the sector is to maximise its contribution to national economic growth.

“Law enforcement and the government need to work with us to develop a consistent, centralised method for reporting and investigating e-crime and resources must be directed to e-crime in line with the emerging threat. This will encourage retailers to report more offences and allow the police to better identify and combat new threats.”

Link: The BRC survey