Children Spend Millions in Unauthorised Spree Kids rack up millions using parents' accounts

YORK, England, Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Children are spending 64 million pounds (1) online a year without their parents' knowledge, putting the adults at risk of card fraud.

A new study commissioned by life assistance company CPP reveals that one in seven online purchases made by British kids aged 7-16 are done behind their mums and dads' back.

Two thirds of kids are now hitting the cyber streets, annually spending 448 million pounds (2) and eight in ten use their parents' bank cards, online accounts and paypal. It is time that parents woke up to the risks of letting their children shop unsupervised on the internet. With three quarters of children not checking the security of websites when shopping online, CPP is warning parents to keep a close eye on their children, otherwise they could risk their card details being misused by internet fraudsters.

The peak of spending is set to increase during the Christmas period as a quarter of kids say they will or plan to buy presents online, a 10 per cent increase on kids online Christmas purchases last year potentially putting even more parents at risk of card fraud.

Sarah Blaney, card fraud expert from CPP said: "Parents need to educate their children about of the very real risks of shopping online. They need to ensure that their children only put sensitive information into sites that are encrypted, trusted and secure and teach them about what signs to look for in a safe site.

"It's clear that online fraud is a serious problem in the UK with card-not-present fraud accounting for over 260 million pounds in 2009 (3). On a wider level consumers need to be responsible and take preventative steps to safeguard their sensitive information. In particular, signing up to MasterCard's SecureCode or Verified by Visa is a useful way of preventing fraudulent transactions".

The research also found that children are buying a range of items, including; computer games (51 per cent), books (42 per cent), films (30 per cent) and phone applications (18 per cent).

Unsupervised access to the internet can lead to other issues in addition to the risk of fraud. For example, nearly a quarter of children have bought a video game or film that is for an older age and a handful of children claimed to have purchased cigarettes (one per cent), alcohol (one per cent) and even weapons and solvents (one per cent).

CPP is working to raise awareness of the dangers of card fraud. CPP's Card Protection policy insures all credit and debit cards from fraudulent use if they are lost or stolen.

For more information, please visit or Notes to editor According to ONS data there are 6,778,693 children aged 7-16 years in the UK.

Research shows that 63 per cent of them purchase items online = 4,270,577. The average amount spent by children online is 15 pounds per purchase and they make on average 7 purchases a year. One in seven of these purchases is made behind their parents' back. 15 pounds x 4,270,577 = 64,058,655 pounds According to ONS data there are 6,778,693 children aged 7-16 years in the UK.

Research shows that 63 per cent of them purchase items online = 4,270,577.

Spending on average 15 pounds per purchase and making 7 purchases a year.

4,270,577x 7 x 15 pounds = 448,410,585 pounds UK Cards Association 2009 results, published March 2010 Research Methodology Research was carried out online by Opinion Matters among 1030 children aged 7-16 years old between 10th September and 1st October 2010.

Corporate Background Information The CPPGroup Plc The CPPGroup Plc (CPP) is an international marketing services business offering bespoke customer management solutions to multi-sector business partners designed to enhance their customer revenue, engagement and loyalty, whilst at the same time reducing cost to deliver improved profitability.

This is underpinned by the delivery of a portfolio of complementary Life Assistance products, designed to help our mutual customers cope with the anxieties associated with the challenges and opportunities of everyday life.

Whether our customers have lost their wallets, been a victim of identity fraud or looking for lifestyle perks, CPP can help remove the hassle from their lives leaving them free to enjoy life. Globally, our Life Assistance products and services are designed to simplify the complexities of everyday living whether these affect personal finances, home, travel, personal data or future plans.

When it really matters, Life Assistance enables people to live life and worry less.

Established in 1980, CPP has 10 million customers and more than 200 business partners across Europe, North America and Asia and employs 1,900 employees who handle millions of sales and service conversations each year.

In 2009, Group revenue was 292.1 million pounds, an increase of more than 12 per cent over the previous year.

In March 2010, CPP debuted on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

What We Do: CPP provides a range of assistance products and services that allow our business partners to forge closer relationships with their customers.

We have a solution for many eventualities, including: Insuring our customers' mobile phones against loss, theft and damage Protecting the payment cards in our customers' wallets and purses, should these be lost or stolen Providing assistance and protection if a customer's keys are lost or stolen Providing advice, insurance and assistance to protect customers against the insidious crime of identity fraud Assisting customers with their travel needs be it an emergency (for example lost passport), or basic translation service Monitoring the credit status of our customers Provision of packaged services to business partners' customers CPP is an award winning organisation: Winner in the European Contact Centre Awards, Large Team of the Year category, 2010 Finalist in the European Contact Centre Awards, Best Centre for Customer Service, Large Contact Centre of the Year categories, 2010 Winner in the National Sales Awards, Contact Centre Sales Team of the Year category, 2010 Finalist in the National Insurance Fraud Awards, Counter Fraud Initiative of the Year category, 2009 Finalist in the European Contact Centre Awards, Large Team and Advisor of the Year categories, 2009 Named in the Sunday Times 2008 PricewaterhouseCoopers Profit Track 100 Finalists in the National Business Awards, 3i Growth Strategy category, 2008 Finalist in the National Business Awards, Business of the Year category, 2007, 2009 and Highly Commended in 2008 Named in the Sunday Times 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 HSBC Top Track 250 companies Regional winner of the National Training Awards, 2007 Winner of the BITC Health, Work and Well-Being Award, 2007 Highly Commended in the UK National Customer Service Awards, 2006 Winner of the Tamworth Community Involvement Award, 2006. Finalist in 2008 Highly Commended in The Press Best Link Between Business and Education, 2005 and 2006. Winner in 2007 Finalist in the National Business Awards, Innovation category, 2005 For more information on CPP click on SOURCE CPP Copyright (C) 2010 PR Newswire. All rights reserved -0- KEYWORD: England INDUSTRY KEYWORD: CPR