Nearly one in five (17 percent) web users claim they have been 'ripped off' online, says

Brits aged 55 to 64 were among those less likely to be fleeced, with just 12 percent of this age group saying they'd been 'ripped off' on the web compared to 20 percent of 18 to 24 year olds, according to the people and business search engine.

Furthermore, 18 percent of web users claimed they don't feel safe when using online auction sites such as eBay or Gumtree. This is hardly surprising as nearly a third of web users that sell item on online auction sites admitted they lie about the goods they're offering.

Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud reporting centre, confirmed's figures by revealing a third of all fraud reported in July this year toiok place online.

"I can confirm that since January the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has each month received more than twice as many reports of online shopping and auction fraud from Action Fraud than any other type of fraud," said a spokesperson for the City of London Police.

One in three web users also admitted they'd check out someone they met online using search engines including Google, as well as social networks including Facebook.

"Before transacting online, give yourself some reassurance by verifying the name and contact details of the person or business you're dealing with. If you can see through the mask of the internet and pin down a name and address, then there is some recourse if it all goes wrong," said Dominic Blackburn, product manager of

See also: Microsoft & eBay launch fraud alert service