Despite an increase in online shopping over the Christmas period, levels of online credit card fraud actually fell, according to anti-fraud organisation Early Warning.

Early Warning MD Andrew Goodwill puts the drop in fraud down to increased awareness by online retailers of the risk of card fraud, and the measures they have taken to combat fraud.

He added:

“This is really an unexpected and encouraging first in Internet fraud statistics. As e-commerce goes on rising, we are used to corresponding increases in fraudsters’ activities to capitalise on it.”

Meanwhile, it was reported this week that spam levels in the first week of January have suddenly fallen by 30%. It is believed that this was caused by spammers losing control of one of their ‘botnets’ – networks of infected PCs used to spew out spam.

It seems this sudden fall, though welcome, is merely a blip. Email security firm Postini has reported that spam continues to grow at record rates, accounting for 94% of all email traffic in December.

Postini blocked more than 25 billion spam messages in December, representing a 144% increase from December 2005 to December 2006.

Further Reading:
One in three UK companies flout spam laws