The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released its latest statistics for crime in England and Wales which indicate that fraud offences remain stable.

Josh Gunnell, Head of Fraud & ID Pre-Sales, TransUnion (formerly Callcredit), said “The volume of fraud offences in the past year has remained relatively stable meaning that the risk of becoming a victim of a fraud attack is still substantially high. The fact that there were 4,484,000 incidents of fraud and computer misuse from April 2017 to March 2018 speaks volumes, and we have to remember that these are only the figures of those which have been reported. The sheer amount of incidents implies that businesses are often still playing ‘catch-up’ when it comes to keeping both their customers and employees protected. In today’s increasingly regulated data climate, where the fines for failing are so high, businesses need to step up.”

“The key to long-term success is through gaining and retaining consumer confidence so it is essential that organisations get up to speed with the prevention and detection techniques available. If businesses cannot show their customers that they are doing everything they can to keep data and identities safe, the cumulative damage could be greater than a fraud attack itself.

“To protect an organisation against fraud, a mix of human and technology-based solutions are required. Recent research we undertook found that nearly half (49%) of businesses already have some specific anti-fraud education as part of employee induction but there is still more work to be done and many recognise this. 43% of businesses are hoping to implement live exercises to test how staff respond, and 42% see employee drills having a role in combating fraud.

“When it comes to technology, our research found that nearly half of businesses (45%) are already using surveillance and 42% are using URL tracking as a protective measure against fraud attacks. However, they are also looking to take technology-based solutions one step further in the next two years – with 90% looking to implement improvements to ID verification, 45% deploying artificial intelligence and 37% utilising biometric screening techniques. This is increasingly important, considering over half of the fraud incidents in the past year were thought to be cyber-related, which is largely a ‘faceless’ channel.

“Society has been grappling with fraud since 300 BC, and sometimes it may feel like fighting a losing battle. But with the right combination of traditional techniques and emerging tools, businesses can protect themselves and win the war.”