Annual cost of fraud and cybercrime tops £10.9bn in the UK

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According to Get Safe Online, the annual cost of fraud and cybercrime in the UK is £10.9bn – the equivalent of £210 per adult. The research shows examples of online fraud ranging from fraudulent phishing messages to extract the personal details of victims, to ransomware and the theft of data through hacking.

Commenting on this, Robert Capps, VP of business development at NuData Security said "We're saddened, but not shocked, to see these findings. In this study, the fact that online fraud costs the UK £10.9bn a year is a sad state of affairs for consumers who can often bear the brunt of the costs (especially with regard to account takeover and new account fraud). It's absolutely no wonder that consumers are pushing back on companies to improve security, holding them accountable for it, yet still wanting to have a good experience going through the gates.

Financial fraud offers a lucrative source of income for cybercriminals, totalling £755 million in 2015 in the UK alone. Cybercriminals have grown in their sophistication, exploiting the human interest factor by posing as banks or suppliers and then duping consumers into revealing their personal details. These scams have also proved effective in targeting commercial organisations, as senior executives are tricked into revealing sensitive information which enables access to a company network.

The increasing volume of attacks globally can also be attributed to more fraudsters willing to commit the crime, more data available on the black market, and more financial institutions and merchants that are vulnerable to attacks. Plus, as more countries fully adopt EMV, we'll see fraud continue its migratory path to all available online channels.

We have to remember; fraudsters know us better than we do in that they've pegged our vulnerabilities. It's time we returned the favour. They are vulnerable because they must do very similar behaviours to be successful, and guess what? We can find them by their tell-tale signals.

In order to detect out of character and potentially fraudulent transactions before they can create a financial nightmare for consumers, we must adopt new authentication methods that they can't deceive. Solutions based on consumer behaviour and interactional signals are leading the way to providing more safety for consumers, and less fraud in the marketplace.

To combat these types of attacks, consumers should always report emails to their banking provider. No legitimate organisation will ask for security or banking details so consumers need to be suspicious of any email that requests this information.

Meanwhile there are steps that consumers can take to help secure themselves:

  • Shop with well-known companies online, or use safer payment systems such as PayPal, ApplePay, Android pay, to avoid providing your payment details directly to an unknown merchant.
  • Use strong, unique passwords on each site you register with.
  • Make sure to change your passwords regularly.
  • Don't use public computers or free, unencrypted Wi-Fi to conduct financial or retail transactions or interactions.
  • Don't fall victim to email and phone scams, where a consumer receives a call from "their bank" asking for personal, or financial account information. If it looks too good to be true, it most likely is. When I doubt, call the bank directly, based on the number printed on the back of your card, or on a recent statement.

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