Barclays backs British fraud fightback
Barclays has unveiled its new £10 million digital safety drive in the UK as it wants to increase the public’s awareness of financial fraud risks.
As part of its plan, it will offer new debit card choices to let customers turn on and off remote spending and change ATM limits. It has revealed a new online quiz to offer free digital safety score and tips – and it wants to help at least three million people to boost their digital safety levels. Barclays estimates that if people implemented its three top tips it could help to cut levels of fraud by up to 75%.
Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays UK, says fraud is “often wrongly described as an invisible crime, but the effects are no less damaging to people’s lives”.
Vaswani adds that a “digital safety gap” has emerged which criminals can exploit; and the “need to fight fraud has now become a national resilience issue” to close this gap.
According to the bank, latest crime figures show 5.6 million fraud and cyber offences in the UK make up half of all recorded crime, and cost the UK £11 billion.
Yet, Barclays says these numbers could be even higher as its new research reveals a quarter of people in the UK have experienced a cyberfraud or scam in the past three years, 18% of them more than once, “suggesting that many cybercrimes go unreported”.
Also as part of its safety drive, it will host regular fraud awareness takeovers on its online and mobile banking sites, “prioritising fraud prevention over products”.
In addition, the new national Digital Safety Index survey, released today (8 May), includes:
- London, Bristol, and Birmingham are the scam capitals in the UK, with the largest gaps in public resilience;
- “Highly-educated” Londoners (Masters degree and above), aged 25-34 are the UK’s most vulnerable group, with men slightly more at risk than women;
- Younger people (25-34 year olds) are twice as likely to be victims of online fraud than older generations, putting to bed the notion that older people are more at risk of being “duped” by cyber criminals.