Women 'six times more likely than men to be duped by online shopping fraud'

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Women are six times more likely than men to be duped by an online shopping fraud, police have said.

Criminals appear to be deliberately targeting female consumers for internet scams, City of London Police warned.

But while women are more likely to be hit, men lose on average three times as much money to online criminals, a new analysis by the force shows.

A City of London spokesman said: "The data showed that women were six times more likely to become a victim of online shopping and auction fraud than men, which suggests that fraudsters are targeting women who shop online."

The force's new Economic and Cyber Crime Prevention Centre (ECPC) looked at the cases of 29,000 victims of cybercrime who contacted City of London's UK-wide Action Fraud reporting centre between November 2014 and October.

The average loss for men was £2,355 compared with only £809 for women, according to the "victimology analysis".

It found there were 15,994 identified victims of "cyber dependent crime" - which included attacks with computer viruses and malware, hacking, including of social media accounts, and denial of service attacks (Dos).

These victims were more likely to be aged from 40 to 49, live in London, Greater Manchester or Hampshire, or be male, the report found.

There were additionally 13,214 identified victims of "cyber enabled fraud", where cyber technology was used to allow a fraud to take place. The victims of these attacks were more likely to be aged from 60 to 69 and live in London, Sussex, Devon and Cornwall, the report found.

Of the 29,000 total reported cases, 85% were from individual members of the public and 13% from businesses.

Commander Chris Greany, the national police co-ordinator for economic crime, and ECPC project leader, said: "Eighty per cent of fraud and cyber crime is preventable if individuals and businesses follow simple advice."