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Every 12 Seconds Britons Fall Victim To Scams

A black women scratches her head at shock as she looks down at her laptop with the word, 'Scam' writtien all over it in bug writing

MNK Blog

Every 12 Seconds Britons Fall Victim To Scams

Don’t Be A Victim – Protect Your Privacy

Hello Tech Lovers!

Over £1.2Billion was stolen through fraud in 2022 and Britons lost more than half a billion pounds in the first six months of 2023. According to a new report by UK Finance, criminals stole an, ‘absolutely staggering’, £580million through fraud. This amounts to one theft every 12 seconds.

Unauthorised fraud losses across payment cards, remote banking, and cheques, reached £340.7 million in the first half of 2023 – a three per cent drop compared to the same period in 2022.

a computer hacker pulls up his hood to hide his identity

The number of unauthorised fraud cases was, 1.26 million – down two per cent on the same period in 2022.

Authorised fraud losses – also known as authorised push payments or APPs, accounted for £239.3million of total fraud, down one per cent compared to the same period in 2022.

Although scammers took slightly less money, the total number of cases was up 22 per cent to 116,324.

The main driver behind this, according to UK Finance, is purchase scams – where people are tricked into paying for goods that never materialise.

Social media also plays a huge part, with the report showing three quarters of fraud started online. Another 17 per cent started through phone calls and text messages.

UK Finance’s director of economic crime, Ben Donaldson, called on tech and telecoms companies to do more to tackle the scam epidemic. ‘We need to see much more effort from the social media and telecommunications sectors. If we are going to see a real difference we need them to work with us,’ he said.

Paul Davis, director of fraud prevention at TSB, had this to say, ‘It’s clear from the big spike in push-payment fraud cases that online companies and telecoms firms must urgently introduce measures to protect the public from scams on their platforms.’

Fraud is divided into two categories, according to UK Finance – Authorised and Unauthorised.

Authorised fraud:

When someone is tricked into paying money into a scammer’s account, or handing over a password. In other words, they take some kind of action or volunteer information which makes the fraud possible.

Unauthorised fraud:

Refers to cases where the victim is not directly involved, for example purchases being made on a stolen credit card. When this happens, banks and credit card companies are legally obliged to protect them from losses – whereas authorised fraud victims may find it harder to get their money back.

Donaldson said, ‘In addition to the financial losses, these crimes often involve callous manipulation of the victim which can cause psychological and emotional harm.’

As the UK Finance report shows, criminals are increasingly using social media, online platforms, screen gleaning, texts, phone calls and emails to deceive victims into giving up their personal details and their money.

The only way we will prevent fraud is if other sectors do much more to help us deal with the criminality which is increasingly taking place on their platforms.’ Concluded Donaldson.

45% of visual hacks occur in under 15 minutes. Often a hacker only needs one piece of valuable information to unlock a full scale data breach.

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Read the full story, via UK FInance here

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Adam – MNK Founder