The threat of financial fraud is growing and despite total losses from bank fraud in the UK falling by 8% in the first half of 2017 compared to 2016, there were still nearly a million cases of financial fraud last year – so you need to remain vigilant and stay safe with your financial information.
Recent data from UK Finance shows that financial losses fell to £366.4m in the first half of 2017 – down from £400.4m in the first half of 2016. In particular, card fraud dropped by 11% and cheque fraud also fell by 28% to a record low – not surprising considering fewer people use cheques today. Overall, over £500m of attempted fraud was also prevented from January – June 2017.
However, remote banking fraud increased by 3% to £73.8m – this covers criminals gaining access to an internet, phone or mobile banking account to make an unauthorised transaction.
How can you protect yourself?
Criminals use personal and financial information stolen from customers via computer hacking, viruses and malware. They can also impersonate staff from financial services so they can target victims directly.
The Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign helps you understand the most common scams so you can protect yourself. It provides 7 points of advice.
Take Five to Stop Fraud Advice:
- Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision - Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.
- Requests to move money - A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account.
- Clicking on links/files - Don't be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
- Personal information - Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
- Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic - Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and address or even your mother’s maiden name), doesn’t mean they are genuine.
- Listen to your instincts - If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Criminals may lull you into a false sense of security when you are out and about or rely on your defences being down when you’re in the comfort of your own home.
- Stay in control - Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. It’s easy to feel embarrassed when faced with unexpected or complex conversations, but it’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.
Take Five to Stop Fraud provide a range of advice on everything on popular scams today.