Why the balaclava? Are you cold indoors?

Why the balaclava? Are you cold indoors?

Impersonation and deceptive double-dealing play their mischievous part in creating massive amounts of financial fraud in the UK.

According to figures from Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK), losses across payment cards, remote banking and cheques totalled £768.8 million in 2016, an increase of 2% on the previous year.

Katy Worobec, director of FFA UK, says banks “take the threat of fraud extremely seriously” but criminals “continue in their attempts to circumvent this security by targeting customers for their personal and security information”.

It was not all grim. The new data shows banks and card companies prevented £1.38 billion of fraud last year, equivalent to £6.40 in every £10 of attempted fraud being stopped.

As well as the deceitful actions, there were online attacks that compromise data – all of which continue to be the primary drivers behind the losses in 2016. In all of these methods criminals target personal and financial information, including card data, which is then used to facilitate fraud.

The 2016 financial fraud data shows:

  • Losses due to payment card fraud were £618 million, an increase of 9% from £567.5 million in 2015. A total of £982.4 million of attempted card fraud was prevented by banks and card companies, equivalent to £6.10 in every £10 of fraud being stopped.
  • Over 2016, card spending increased 6%, meaning card fraud as a proportion of spending equates to 8.3p for every £100 spent.
  • Within the overall card fraud figures, losses on card purchases made remotely increased by 9% to £432.3 million.
  • Remote banking fraud losses totalled £137.1 million, a 19% decrease from £168.6 million in 2015. A total of £205.4 million of attempted remote banking fraud losses were prevented, equivalent to £6 in every £10 of fraud being stopped.
  • Cheque fraud losses fell by 28% to £13.7 million, the lowest ever annual total. A total of £196.2 million of attempted cheque fraud was prevented, equivalent to £9.40 in every £10 of fraud being stopped.
  • There were a total of 1,857,506 cases of financial fraud.

FFA UK urges people to follow the advice of its Take Five campaign and safeguards their details.

This is backed by “every major” bank and card company, to raise awareness. Earlier this month there was a dedicated day of activities in thousands of bank branches across the country as part of the campaign.

@banking
techno