ECONOMY

Electronic fraud soars in Greece

The incidence of electronic fraud has been soaring both in Greece and internationally due to the global financial crisis, a conference on electronic crime heard recently in London. Layoffs at banks, particularly of information technology experts, comprise the main reason for the growth of the phenomenon. Banks’ systems undergo such attacks on a daily basis and cases have increased by 20 percent in Greece compared to before the crisis, while abroad they have in some cases doubled. In this country about 2,500 people fall victim to electronic fraud annually, being swindled out of a total of at least 4 million euros. This year, however, the victims are likely to top 3,000, with the cost reaching 5 million euros. The phenomenon began to grow during the first half of 2008, when some 700 Greeks were the victims of credit card fraud, against just 135 in the same period of 2007. All types of fraud are showing an increase, say bank officials, ranging from the copying of credit card data to conning bank customers and actual robberies.