Figures released this month by Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) show that card and remote banking fraud increased during the first six months of 2014 due to a growth in deception crimes and use of computer viruses.
A combination of Chip & PIN and advanced fraud screening detection processes used by the banks actually drove a long-term decline in card fraud up to 2012. This led to a 72 per cent decline in high street fraud losses between 2004 and 2013. In response, fraudsters are increasingly concentrating their efforts on obtaining personal and financial details from individual customers rather than attacking the security systems used by the banks.
FFA UK said that cold calling is becoming as increasing problem. Callers pose as the bank, police or representatives of other trusted organisations, and trick victims into revealing personal or financial information, such as their 4 digit PIN or online banking details; transferring money to another account; or accepting a courier into their home to pick up their card.
Once details have been compromised, they are then used to commit fraud through both remote (telephone or online) banking channels and through shopping online. Commonly, fraudsters target retailers who have not introduced adequate internet shopping protections.
Consumers and merchants who not having adequate security protection are also at risk from computer viruses used to steal personal and financial information.
A total of 174.5 million was lost via bank cards as a result of scam telephone and posted purchases as well as fraudulent online activity.
FFA UK advised customers to be aware of such scams, committing their financial details to memory rather than to a computer file, and be suspicious of phone calls, texts or emails which come out of the blue asking for personal or financial details, regardless of who they claim to represent.
“Be aware of the warning signs,” said Detective Chief Inspector Perry Stokes, head of the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPU). “Your bank will never ask you for your 4 digit PIN, to transfer or withdraw money, or to give your card to a courier. We are asking members of the public to pass this information on to any family and friends who may be unaware, and echo calls made last week by the Commissioner of City of London Police for a national awareness-raising campaign led by Government.”
While the hubbub surrounding the security of contactless cards continues, FFA UK found that only that 0.007 per cent of gross contactless expenditure was fraud related, amounting to £51, 000 lost to fraudsters.
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