A SCAM in which a woman from Windermere lost more than £1,000 vividly illustrates the dangers of online banking.

That is the view of the woman's parents, who say they have been shocked not only by the lack of willingness by their daughter's bank not only in assisting efforts to refund the money but to make any attempt to review their current system.

The woman's mother said she was particularly shocked that online payment systems make no check at all on the name of the account holder.

Therefore, the sender has no proof the account details belong to the person in question, greatly increasing the possibility of fraud.

She tested this out by making an online payment to her friend but used the name 'Mickey Mouse' as the payee, and the transfer went through without a hitch.

The situation arose when the woman in question was seeking to rent a flat with a friend in the London area.

She found a suitable flat via a well known website and when the 'owner' requested a £1,200 deposit, she made the appropriate payment online.

However, she noticed the flat was advertised as 'under offer' in an estate agent's window and when she inquired inside the shop and was told the property had never been up for rent, she realised to her horror that she had been scammed.

The woman's parents pointed out that the fact that no name checks are conducted made the scam much easier.