£1.66bn of fraud prevented by finance sector

The finance industry prevented £1.66bn of unauthorised fraud throughout 2018, effectively stopping £2 in every £3 of attempted unauthorised fraud in the year, according to the latest Fraud the Facts 2019 published by UK Finance.

The most common type of unauthorised attempted fraud in 2018 was card fraud, which accounted for £1.12bn. This was followed by unauthorised remote banking fraud and cheque fraud at £318m and £218m respectively.

During the same period, a total of £1.2bn was stolen by criminals committing both authorised and unauthorised fraud, with authorised fraud accounting for £354m and unauthorised £845m.

Industry research has suggested that the theft of personal and financial information through social engineering caused by data breaches, outside of the financial sector, was a major contributing factor to the fraud losses.

Commenting on the figures, UK Finance managing director of economic crime Katy Worobec said: “Fraud is a crime which poses a major threat to us all – it can have a devastating impact on victims and the money stolen funds even more damaging crimes such as terrorism, drug trafficking and people smuggling. Every business, from online retailers to social media companies, as well as the public sector, has a duty to work together to beat fraud and prevent stolen data getting into the hands of criminals.”

Worobec added that, last month, the finance industry along with other consumer groups agreed a “voluntary code which will increase protection for customers” from authorised push payment scams.

Though the code has only recently been agreed, the UK Finance director highlighted that “the industry continues to fight fraud on every front”.

According to Worobec, firms are continuing to introduce new ways to combat fraudsters, namely: “Investing in advanced security systems and new ways to track stolen funds, assisting law enforcement in tackling the criminals and supporting the government in improving the ways in which intelligence is shared.”

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