SOURCE: VeriSign, Inc.

September 16, 2009 04:00 ET

One in Eight Brits Fall Victim to Online ID Fraud

VeriSign Fraud Barometer Reveals Online Criminals in the UK Stole £2.65 Billion in the Last Year

LONDON--(Marketwire - September 16, 2009) - A YouGov survey commissioned by VeriSign Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world, has revealed that 12 percent of the UK population has been a victim of online ID fraud within the last 12 months. The research found that these fraud victims have had on average £463 stolen, with a quarter claiming to still be in dispute over compensation for the money that was stolen from them.

The survey found that in general British Web users are conscientious when it comes to online shopping. Eighty two percent of respondents claimed to buy only from sites with enhanced security settings, with eight percent more women claiming to check security before they buy online. However, the research shows that in the last 12 months, £2.65 billion was stolen online from UK consumers. Many victims claimed to have been extra careful when buying online, but the UK population is still experiencing fraud. This highlights the need for more education on how to protect yourself when shopping on the Internet.

Richard Hurley, communications manager at CIFAS - the UK's Fraud Prevention Service, commented, "Increasing numbers of cost-conscious consumers are now shopping online, and whilst the rise in online spending is great for online retailers, it opens up a Pandora's Box of security threats. Cyber criminals are undoubtedly getting more devious, but consumers can easily lessen the likelihood of online fraud by stepping up their own awareness of how they can protect themselves online. The launch of the VeriSign Fraud Barometer will allow us to track the current threat landscape further, with specific focus on online threats, and it is important that companies like CIFAS and VeriSign work to combat fraud and offer sound advice to consumers."

The survey was commissioned to launch the VeriSign UK Fraud Barometer®, a bi-annual barometer of online fraud in the UK, and is supported by an ongoing campaign to educate the public on how to protect yourself online -- more details can be found at

"Research reveals that there isn't a relationship between the number of people who check a Web site's security and those who have been scammed," said Martin Mackay, VeriSign's vice president of EMEA. "There are still too many people out there who simply don't know the danger signs to look for when buying online. We're committed to measuring fraud in the UK to raise awareness of this issue, and promise to educate the public with regular campaigns on what they should be looking for before buying online."

The survey also uncovers trends and habits in online shopping, including:

--  Fewer 18-24 year olds have been de-frauded, with only five percent
    stating that they had been online ID fraud victims
--  People aged 45-54 are defrauded most often, with 14 percent claiming
    to have been victims of online ID fraud
--  Londoners are the most careless about buying online, with 25 percent
    stating that they don't bother checking whether a Web site has enhanced
    security settings before buying from it, as opposed to only 10 percent of
    respondents from Northern Ireland
--  The Welsh are the biggest victims of online fraud, with 20 percent
    stating that they had experienced ID fraud in the last year
--  Scots are least likely to fall victim to ID fraud, with only eight
    percent stating that they had been defrauded in the last twelve months

The following tips, which can be found in detail on the Trust the Tick Web site,, are crucial to being safe when shopping online.

1.  Protect your computer by adding a personal firewall and anti-virus
    software. Disconnect from the Internet when you're not online, and if
    you're using a laptop create a password that's required to access any
2.  Keep your passwords safe -- don't share passwords, change them often
    and don't choose one that can be easily guessed. Where possible use
    two-factor authentication -- where the second password is generated
    from a device and is a number that changes every time you log-in.
3.  Verify the Web site you are on is safe. Before entering your payment
    details into any website, check that the URL begins with https -- the
    "s" stands for "secure." If a site has obvious typographical errors,
    or no evidence of security information, avoid it. If in doubt, click on
    the VeriSign tick to verify a site's identity, and if possible use a
    high security web browser that displays the green EV SSL address bar.
4.  Don't download email attachments or click on a link in an email unless
    it's from someone you trust and never provide sensitive information in
    an email. Remember that financial websites will never tell you that you
    must provide your username, password, PIN or other sensitive
    information in an email; fraudsters will.
5.  Ensure you are using a secure Wi-Fi network. Set up a password to
    secure your home wireless network and avoid buying online or checking
    bank and investment websites on a public Wi-Fi network.

VeriSign is working towards a safer experience online. The company is urging consumers concerned about their security to visit to find out more about how they can protect themselves online and identify the Web sites that are safe for sharing personal details and completing financial transactions.

About VeriSign

VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) is the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world. Billions of times each day, VeriSign helps companies and consumers all over the world engage in communications and commerce with confidence. Additional news and information about the company is available at

Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VeriSign's actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainty of future revenue and profitability and potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results due to such factors as the inability of VeriSign to successfully develop and market new products and services and customer acceptance of any new products or services, including VeriSign SSL, EV SSL, Code Signing and PKI solutions; the possibility that VeriSign's announced new services may not result in additional customers, profits or revenues; and increased competition and pricing pressures. More information about potential factors that could affect the company's business and financial results is included in VeriSign's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. VeriSign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.

©2009 VeriSign, Inc. All rights reserved. VeriSign, the VeriSign logo, the Checkmark Circle logo, GeoTrust, Thawte, RapidSSL, and other trademarks, service marks, and designs are registered or unregistered trademarks of VeriSign, Inc., and its subsidiaries in the United States and in foreign countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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