As online shopping grows, so do the dangers of fraud and theft

WASHINGTON, Nov 23, 2006 (AFP) – As growing numbers of Americans turn to the Internet for holiday shopping, experts warn that online dangers such as fraud and identity theft are increasing as well.

One out of 10 people shopping online could become a victim of online fraud this holiday season, according to a report by the National Consumers League and National Cyber Security Alliance.

Still, the ease of online shopping and growing popularity of the Internet is becoming irresistible for time-strapped consumers.

A survey of some 9,000 US adults by Zogby International found two-thirds were planning to make at least one online purchase for the holiday season.

“Instead of fighting for a parking space and waiting in long lines, many shoppers have turned to the Internet to help with at least some of their holiday shopping,” the research firm said.

Research firm comScore Networks predicts online retail consumer spending for the 2006 holiday season excluding travel will be above 24 billion dollars, a 24 percent rise from last year.

With the kickoff of the Christmas shopping season on Friday — the day after the Thanksgiving Day holiday — analysts see a greater share of sales going on