And losses due to banking fraud have more than doubled since last year.
The report details how cyber criminals have adapted their methods to take into account the effects of the recession. Instead of opening new accounts with stolen identities now more difficult because of tighter credit checks criminals are taking over existing accounts.
Tom Ilube, chief executive of Garlik, said that fraud cases involving hijacking legitimate accounts have increased 207 per cent in the past year.
We fear that account-takeover fraud will continue to increase in 2009 due to the decline of available credit and tighter credit-checking by the banks,” he said.
“Consumers must be extra vigilant of all their online and financial accounts as well as avoiding increasingly convincing phishing scams.”
The report predicts the activity is likely to continue into 2009 in line with the continued restrictions on credit.
The report also highlights that online banking fraud has increased by 132 per cent, with losses totalling £52.5m, compared with £22.6m in the previous year.
Garlik detected nearly 44,000 phishing web sites specifically targeting banks and building societies in the UK.