Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the world wide web, revealed today that he has been a victim of online fraud.
Berners-Lee, who is widely credited with inventing the web when working at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) in the 1980s and early 1990s, told The Daily Telegraph that a site he visited to buy a Christmas present turned out to be a fake.
"The worst thing that has happened to me was when I tried to buy a Christmas present from a company that looked like a bona fide company on the internet and then actually they were a completely fake company," he told the newspaper.
"There's a lot of effort out there to check against rogue consumers, but actually this was a case of a rogue retailer."
The news is yet another example of the increasing prevalence of online crime. The number of global phishing attacks grew by a staggering 66 per cent last year compared to 2007, equating to 135,426 separate incidents, according to research from RSA Security released last month.
Secure payments provider CyberSource also said in its annual UK Online Fraud Report last month that around a third of survey respondents had been a victim, or knew someone who had been a victim, of online credit card fraud.
The report also found that 41 per cent of people who refuse to shop online cite security as their main reason.