New industry data shows fall in financial fraud
Financial fraud losses of £366.4m in the first half of 2017 were 8% lower year-on-year, according to new figures published by UK Finance.
The data, which covers payment cards, remote banking and cheques, also shows that the industry prevented more than £750m of fraud during the same period, or 67% of attempted fraud. This compares with £400.4m of losses and £678.7m of prevented fraud during the first half of 2016.
Fraudsters are increasingly trying to use customers’ compromised personal and financial information to carry out fraud. Details are primarily stolen through online attacks, such as data hacks and malware, as well as through impersonation scams directly targeting customers.
The new data comes as the banking industry and government join forces to launch the next phase of Take Five to Stop Fraud, the national campaign that offers advice to help customers protect themselves from fraudsters. Launching on Monday, 2 October, the campaign is focused on helping customers to recognise scams and confidently challenge any requests for their personal or financial details by remembering the phrase: “My money? My info? I don’t think so.”
Key figures for January to June 2017 include the following:
– The industry helped to prevent more than £500m in attempted card fraud. Actual fraud losses on cards were down 11% on the same period the year before, to £287.3m.
– Card spending increased by 8.4% year-on-year across the six-month period, meaning card fraud as a proportion of spending equates to 7.5p for every £100 spent, down from 8.7p in the first half of 2016. It peaked in February 2002 when it was 18.9p per £100.
– £160.2m of remote banking fraud was prevented. Remote banking fraud totalled £73.8m, a 3% rise from £71.5m in the same period last year. This covers criminals gaining access to an internet, phone or mobile banking account to make an unauthorised transaction.
– £88.8m of cheque fraud was prevented. Cheque fraud losses fell to £5.3m, a 28% drop on the same period in 2016. This is the lowest half-year total on record.
– There were 937,518 cases of financial fraud, a figure that has remained stable compared with the same period the year before.
Katy Worobec, head of fraud and financial crime prevention, cyber and data sharing at UK Finance, said: “Tackling fraud is a top priority for the entire industry. But financial fraud is not just an issue for the banking sector – its harmful effects stretch far and wide. This is why, when it comes to prevention, protection or deterrents, the industry is committed to taking a collaborative approach to curb these crimes and is launching the latest Take Five consumer campaign. Whether it’s banks refining their own security systems or a retailer holding customer data securely, everyone has a part to play.”
Security minister Ben Wallace added: “Any signal that fewer people are falling victim to financial fraud is very good news. However, we know that fraud remains a widespread problem and there is more to be done to prevent criminals from ruthlessly targeting people and businesses for their hard-earned money.
“The Joint Fraud Taskforce sees the government, law enforcement and industry working together to tackle some of the toughest fraud issues in order to protect the public. The national Take Five campaign will raise further awareness of how people can take simple steps to protect themselves against scams.”