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Well after months and months of poorly researched and hysterically hyped stories on how the Internet was a den of credit card fraud, new figures show that actually the Internet is a pretty good place to flash the plastic.

Yes, credit card fraud stepped up from £2 million to £7 million last year but considering the huge increase in people online and the fact that this is but a drop in the ocean of the annual £300 million taken by fraud, then the Internet is beginning to look like a quite a safe place to buy your goods.

Estimates abounded last year that Internet fraud would rocket and this was backed up with surveys of people answering "yes" to the question "are you worried that if you put your credit card details on the worldwide Web that someone may steal them?"

However, according to the Association for Payment Clearing Services and theFT, the Internet is a minor problem when compared to organised crime counterfeiting credit cards. This accounts for £103 million of the overall £300 million total and has doubled since 1999.

Old-fashioned theft from envelopes stands at just £3 million. Also, apparently half of the overall online fraud came from Caribbean porn sites misusing credit cards details. But would you believe it, only one per cent of official fraud complaints stem from "adult services". Isn't that incredible? ®

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