One in five (22%) people have been defrauded via their credit card in the last year, according to a survey of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by comparethemarket.com.
This equates to 11.4 million people nationwide, highlighting the rising levels of credit card cyber risk in the UK.
comparethemarket.com’s Credit Card Fraud Index found that many people who had their credit cards compromised, also lost significant sums of money. In nearly half (45%) of fraud cases, customers found themselves out of pocket, with hackers stealing an average of £801 per person. Based on these figures, comparethemarket.com estimates that £4.1billion has been stolen from the UK population in the last year*.
Latest figures show that online sales now represent 17%** of total UK retail sales. Cyber Monday this year falls on Monday 26 November, when millions of people take to the internet to find Christmas discounts from online retailers - presenting a major opportunity for hackers. However, it seems that customers are not taking steps to protect themselves; nearly a fifth (19%) of people who had been hacked admitted they didn’t have a backup credit card, in case something should happen which meant they could not access their account.
Despite high levels of credit card fraud, consumer awareness of the problem remains low. In over a third of cases (34%), people who had their accounts compromised did not know or couldn’t remember how the hack occurred. Similarly, in nearly a third of cases (31%), banks did not alert people to the fact they had been hacked, suggesting that in some cases, levels of security may be somewhat lax.
As a result of their credit card being compromised, 41% of people say they are now more cautious about saving their details online and 48% admit they now check their online bank accounts more frequently. However, only 6% of people who were hacked have gone on to change their credit card provider as a result of the cyberattack, whilst nearly three quarters (74%) have not considered or have no intention of changing accounts.
Simon McCulloch, Director at comparethemarket.com, said:
“As more and more people choose to shop online, our money is made increasingly vulnerable to sophisticated cyber criminals. Cyber Monday is a peak time for hackers. Banks and retailers must do their best to protect customers from fraud, not least because data compromises can lead to customers voting with their feet and switching accounts.
“That said, people should not depend entirely on their bank’s security system, but should instead take decisive steps to protect themselves - such as having multiple passwords and checking their online credit card banking accounts regularly. Having a backup credit card ensures you are still able to make purchases, even if another account is frozen by fraud. It’s important to note that, provided you have not been negligent, transactions made with a credit card are protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, so if you are victim of fraud for a purchase worth over £100, then you should be able to get your money back.”