UK online banking fraud losses soar 48%

UK online banking fraud losses soar 48%

Online banking fraud jumped 48% to £60.4 million in 2014, according to figures put together by Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK), which blames the rise on malware and confidence tricksters.

However, with just 53192 actual incidents of online banking fraud losses in the year, the FFA says that the problem is "relatively modest" for a country where nearly 30 million people bank on the Web.

Meanwhile, fraud losses on UK cards went up by six per cent, totalling £479 million in 2014 versus £450.4 million in 2013.

The FFA says the card losses are still 21% lower than the peak of £609.9 million back in 2008, but the figures do show that criminals are finding new ways to defraud customers since the introduction of chip and PIN.

Fraud abroad is one driver, says the FFA, with this type of attack rising 23% last year, costing UK FIs £150.3 million, mainly due to criminals targeting countries that don’t yet have chip and PIN. Domestic card losses remained flat at £328 million.

Fraud on contactless cards remains low, with just £153,000 of losses over 2014 being reported versus total spending of £2.32 billion. This represents just 0.7p in every £100 spent on contactless, says FFA, but of course the figures are starting from a low base for a relatively new technology.

Losses resulting from purchases made using a card remotely – i.e. without chip and PIN in an online environment, over the phone or by mail order – rose 10% in 2014 to £331.5 million. The number of such incidents, a new metric this year, rose seven per cent said the FFA.

E-commerce card fraud losses increased from £190.1m in 2013 to £217.4 million in 2014. This is a 14% rise, despite the introduction of initiatives such as Verified by Visa.

There was better news when it comes to retailers and ATMs, with losses decreasing 14% cent to £49.2 million, and 15% to £27.3 million, respectively. And cheque fraud losses continued to fall significantly, with £17.8m lost in 2014, a 35% drop for a payment method fast going out of fashion.

Commenting on the figures, detective chief inspector, Perry Stokes, head of the dedicated card and payment crime unit (DCPCU) UK police unit, says: "Fraudsters can be very convincing," advising consumers to report any concerns to their bank and “beat the fraudsters by making sure you have up to date anti-virus software.”

Separately, chief superintendent, Dave Clark, head of the economic crime unit at The City of London Police force, said he welcomed the FFA call for a national fraud and cyber fraud campaign, adding that "this will significantly raise awareness of the nature of the threat we collectively face from this type of criminality". 

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