Online fraud figures released yesterday by APACS, the UK payments association, show a 44% rise in online banking fraud last year.

Offline credit card fraud at UK retailers fell by 47% to a total of £72.1m, from 2005’s figure of £135.9m, thanks largely to the introduction of chip and pin.

But the figures show that online fraud is on the rise, with £33.5m stolen from online bank accounts in the UK - a rise of 44% from 2005’s figure of £23.2m.

The number of phishing attacks also rose sharply – in 2005 the number of reported attacks was 1,173; last year the figure was a massive 14,156.

This figure includes attacks via links to spoofed sites, as well as attacks using malware, such as the recent attack on Swedish bank Nordea, when fraudsters stole £570,000.