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Online data scams are on the increase – and becoming more dangerous - according to a trend observed by a leading freebies website.

The practice of capturing data such as e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and home addresses is nothing new in cyberspace. But now websites are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the way they collect personal details.

Particularly vulnerable are Web surfers searching for offers and bargains. Many sites purport to offer free samples or even high value items in an attempt to lure the unsuspecting public. Bogus 'free iPhone' sites typically fall into this category, but a variety of other methods are becoming commonplace. This includes scams featuring competitions, surveys and even Facebook applications.

Those participating in social networking are at the highest risk, with scams becoming widespread within minutes.

Andy Varley, founder of Read full release