New figures from UK Finance show bank scam victims lost £207.5m in the first six months of this year to authorised push payment fraud – more than £1.1m a day. A total of 57,549 cases were recorded by banks – a 69% rise compared with the same period in 2018.
Over the same period, £408 million was stolen by criminals through unauthorised card, remote banking and cheque fraud.
The finance industry also prevented £820 million of unauthorised fraud in first half of 2019. These figures are equivalent to £2 in every £3 of attempted unauthorised fraud being stopped, or £4.5 million of fraud being prevented every day, and show an increase of 14 per cent on the previous year.
It is reported that the compromise of personal and financial data remains a significant driver behind fraud losses, with customer details being stolen through data breaches at third parties outside the financial sector, while sophisticated “digital skimming” attacks are being used to steal card data when consumers are shopping online. Criminals also continue to use social engineering techniques to trick customers into divulging their personal information or transferring money.
Responding to the figures, Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, said “Not only does fraud have a devastating impact on victims, the money stolen goes on to line the pockets of organised criminal gangs involved in drugs, arms and human trafficking. The finance industry is constantly investing in advanced security systems to protect customers from this threat, while helping law enforcement to apprehend and disrupt the criminals responsible.’
“A new voluntary code was introduced in May that has significantly improved consumer protections from authorised push payment scams, with signatory firms committed to reimbursing victims providing they have met certain standards.”
“However, criminals are continuing to exploit vulnerabilities outside the financial sector to obtain customers’ data that is then used to commit fraud. We all have a responsibility to work together, including online retailers and social media companies, to beat the fraudsters and keep customers’ data secure.”