Banking fraud is costing ?24 every second in the UK according to the latest report from industry group Financial Fraud Action UK.
?769 million was lost in the UK to financial fraud during 2016, representing a rise of ?15 million over the previous year.
The figure came from 1.9 million separate cases of financial fraud recorded involving credit and debit cards, as well as other payment methods.
Payment card fraud represented the vast majority of the total, rising by 9 per cent to ?618 million. However, remote banking fraud saw a drop of 19 per cent to ?137 million, and cheque fraud showed an even bigger drop of 28 per cent to under ?14 million, partly due to reduced use of cheque payment.
Despite the high figure of financial fraud, the report highlighted that banks and credit card companies had in fact managed to stop more possible fraud transactions than were actually allowed through.
A potential ?1.38 billion fraudulent losses were prevented by the financial companies throughout the year.
Director of Financial Fraud Action UK, Katy Worobec, said: ‘Banks take the threat of fraud extremely seriously.’
Head of ID and fraud at Equifax, John Marsden, added: ‘The UK is ahead of many other countries in improving fraud defences, but is also subject to a higher number of attacks and cannot afford to be complacent.’
There are measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of falling victim to financial fraud. A few tips are shown below.
- Limit the amount of personal details you give out on social networking sites and never share PINs or passwords with anyone.
- Don?t use the same password for more than one account. Choose ones that are difficult to guess – at least 10 characters and a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation marks.
- Don?t assume an email request or caller is genuine – people aren?t always who they say they are. And don?t be rushed into making a decision.
- Never click on links in emails asking you to confirm personal details, it could be leading you to a bogus site.
- Don?t pay by bank transfer or carry out financial transactions while logged on to a public wifi.
- Check bank statements regularly and always opt for an additional layer of security when offered by credit card firms.
- Shred all documents with financial and personal information.