Survey Finds Five Million Brits Conned out a Combined £2bn in Credit Card Fraud
Tuesday, 25 October 2016
Credit card frauds are increasingly becoming a troubling issue for the financial industry. According to a new survey conducted by the polling company, Populus (commissioned by comparethemarket.com), they revealed that there is an increased levels of cyber-attacks occurring in the UK. Due to fraud, one in ten adults have had to replace their credit or debit card and many of these claims go unsolved as law enforcement cannot manage the volume.
The survey found that last year, almost five million Britons had to cancel their debit or credit card due to rising cyber-fraud. It also showed the scale of fraud in the UK, with one in ten adults reporting that they had to replace their bank cards after falling victim to identify theft, card cloning, or cyber-fraud.
It was reported that even large companies, such as Tesco, Asda, and Marks & Spencer, fell victim to cyber-attacks, and the data breaches raised concerns over the security of customers’ credit card details.
Financially, the damage was more than £2 billion in total lost to fraud last year alone, with the average loss around £475.
In addition, it was found that one-third of bank fraud victims responded to their encounter by opting to reduce the number of items they purchase online, and rely on cash transactions instead. Mass actions like this have the potential to damage the digital economy, but could mean a return to high street retailers.
When online fraud was included in the official crime rate, it nearly doubled it. In fact, statistics show that Britons are 20 times more likely to be a victim of cyber-fraud than robbed in the street.
This increase in fraud has compelled some banks, included Barclays Fraud Smart, to share messages of warning in their recent advertisements.
Unfortunately, the survey also found that law enforcement investigates fewer than one in 100 cases of cyber-fraud each year, and only one in every 650 cases concludes with a conviction.
Professor of Security Engineering at the University of Cambridge, Ross Anderson explains, “A typical police force has only one or two officers dedicated to cybercrime, so unless internet fraudsters get involved in terrorism or child porn they are almost guaranteed to get away with it.”
James Daley, of the consumer group Fairer Finance, added: “These figures show that cyber fraud has become a pandemic and the lack of investment in policing the problem is increasingly difficult to justify. Although banks refund most card fraud there are many other types of cyber fraud where victims don’t get their money back. At the very least these people deserve to have their crime properly investigated.”
The majority of the public remains unconcerned or unaware about danger of cyber-fraud and use the same PIN and password for all cards and all online account, which puts them at high risk for fraud.