Banking fraud rockets as losses total £755m last year

18th March 2016


There has been a dramatic rise in the number of banking fraud losses as criminals target personal and business account customers.


Figures from the Financial Fraud Action UK reveal total losses for remote banking fraud leaped 72% last year to £168.6 million and internet banking fraud looses were up 64% to £133.5 million. Telephone banking losses rocketed 92% to £32.3 million.


Overall financial fraud losses across cards, remote banking and cheques totalled £755 million in 2015, up 26% in just 12 months.


Prevented fraud totalled £1.76 billion last year, meaning £7 in every £10 of all attempted fraud was stopped last year.


An increasing number of banking customers are being targeted by fraudsters trying to access their accounts. One of the main drivers of the fraud is scams that involves a criminal tricking the victim into handing over their personal and security details.


Fake invoice scams have also increased and so have the number of emails sent pretending to be from a company you are using, such as a solicitor, requesting money be paid to a fraudster’s bank account.


The FFA data shows that while internet fraud cases increased 23%, the losses were much higher – up 64% – meaning wealthier people are being targeted with more success.


Katy Worobec, director of FFA UK, said: ‘With the continued rise in impersonation scams and data breaches it’s vital that all customers are alert to the dangers.


‘Everyone should be very cautious about giving out personal or financial information, and organisations holding data need to do all they can to protect people’s private details.’


Tony Blake, senior fraud prevention officer for the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit, said criminals made the effort to make their scam seem genuine so ‘it’s important to be vigilant’.


‘If you receive a call, text or email out of the blue asking for your personal information, hang up the phone and do not reply directly,’ he said.


‘Instead, wait five minutes and ring your bank to alert them to the scam, using a phone number that you trust – such as the one on the back of your bank card or from the official website.’


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