Nearly a quarter of all internet purchases made using a stolen credit cards last year took place in Shildon in Country Durham, says The 3rd Man.

According to research by the security company, areas of Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester also saw high numbers of fraudulent online purchases.

The company also said the area that experienced the greatest amount of lost money due to fraudulent online transactions was south-east London, with £16m.

Shildon has a population of 10,000, yet police believe that just one or two people are responsible for the barrage of fraudulent online transactions.

Andrew Goodwill from The 3rd Man told the BBC: "The problem's been getting worse year on year and there's a lack of policing, mainly because it's a difficult crime to investigate".

Broadband speed test

PC security advice

See also: 41% of Brits scared of shopping online