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Latest industry data shows fall in financial fraud

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.

  • Total losses on card, remote banking and cheque fraud were 8 per cent lower in H1 2017 than in H1 2016
  • Industry successfully stopped more than two-thirds of attempted financial fraud preventing over £750 million of fraud
  • Banking industry and government to launch Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign to help customers spot the most common financial scams as criminals increasingly target them as the weakest lin

Financial fraud losses of £366.4 million in the first half of 2017 were 8 per cent lower year-on-year, figures from UK Finance show. The data, which covers payment cards, remote banking and cheques, also shows that the industry prevented over £750 million of fraud during the same period, or 67 per cent of attempted fraud. This compares with £400.4 million of losses and £678.7 million of prevented fraud in the first half of 2016.

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 fraud. Launching on Monday 2 October 2017, 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’.

Data for January to June 2017

  • The industry helped prevent over £500 million in attempted card fraud. Actual fraud losses on cards were down 11 per cent on the same period the year before, to £287.3 million.
  • Card spending increased by 8.4 per cent 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.
  • £160.2 million of remote banking fraud was prevented. Remote banking fraud totalled £73.8 million, a 3 per cent rise from £71.5 million in 2016. This covers criminals gaining access to an internet, phone or mobile banking account to make an unauthorised transaction.
  • £88.8 million of cheque fraud was prevented. Cheque fraud losses fell to £5.3 million, a 28 per cent 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 flat compared with the year before.

Positive impact of fighting fraud

T/Commander Dave Clark of the City of London Police, the national policing lead for fraud, said:
"Today’s figures from UK Finance illustrate the positive impact that partnerships between industry and policing can have on fighting fraud.

"There is still much to do, particularly in relation to identify theft and the crimes it enables. Stolen identities can be used to apply for fake bank accounts and credit or, as highlighted by City of London Police this week, be used to set up criminal websites. Criminals are smart and use many techniques to get hold of our personal data, and once they have it, they use it for criminal activity that ultimately can decimate lives. We urge everyone to check what data is publicly available about themselves and be extremely careful with what they post on social media."

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.

“Next week our Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign in partnership with the Home Office kicks off to make sure customers know what to do to stay safe from the latest scams. Through the campaign we want to encourage all customers to remember to Take Five by saying ‘My money? My info? I don’t think so’.”

The Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign is backed by financial providers across the industry. The campaign encourages everyone to question uninvited approaches and never give out personal or financial details. Customers can expect to see and hear Take Five ‘My money? My info? I don’t think so’ across a wide range of media including radio and online over the coming months.

Tony Blake, Senior Fraud Prevention Officer at the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit, the industry sponsored specialist police unit, said:
“Fraudsters will do all they can to appear like the real deal, so always be on your guard for any calls, texts or emails out of the blue asking for your details. They may even be able to quote some basic information about you. Stop and think before you give away any information and if you are the slightest bit unsure then hang up and don’t reply. Instead contact the organisation directly on a number you trust, such as the one on their official website.”

Take Five urges customers to help stay safe from fraud by following simple advice:

  • A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you asking for your PIN, full password or to move money to a safe account.
  • Never give out personal or financial information. Always contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
  • Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
  • Always question uninvited approaches, in case it’s a scam.

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