The Strategist

British citizens suffer from financial frauds every 15 seconds

09/21/2016 - 14:10

Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA) coordinates efforts of British banks and bank card issuers and fights against fiscal fraud. Recently, the organization reported that number of such crimes in the UK increased by 53% in this year. More than 1 million cases of various financial fraud were detected in the first six months of 2016, which means that fraudsters attacked every 15 seconds.

michael kooiman
michael kooiman
Number of frauds in the UK financial industry increased by 53% for the year, according to Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA), created by British banks and issuers of bank cards to coordinate efforts in the fight against financial fraud. According to the FFA, the first six months of the current year brought 1,007,094 cases of fraud (online banking, mobile banking, debit and credit cards, checks), while there were 660 308 of such cases for the same period in 2015. Thus, during the first six months of 2016, a financial fraud has been committed every 15 seconds.

Director of Fraud Control at FFA Katy Worobec notes that British banks managed to save £ 7 out of every £ 10 on which the crooks encroached. However, fraudsters still manage to steal millions of pounds sterling of citizens. Every year, they come up with more and more sophisticated consumer fraud schemes. Last year, volume of funds stolen from customers reached £ 775 million, which is 26% more than the year before. At the same time, as noted by the FFA, the figure indicates only reported thefts. Many customers simply feel too embarrassed, or afraid to admit that they fell for a scam. The most common types of fraud is frauds on telephone, SMS, email, fake links and pop-ups online, false invoices for payment. For example, earlier this year, the fraudsters managed to steal £ 25 thousand from a couple by sending them a fake, but very convincing forged bill purporting to be from their builder.

To stop the crooks, the FFA in partnership with the financial services sector, consumer protection organizations and the police launched a campaign Take Five ("Stop and Think"). "We are asking people to stop and think before they answer some financial questions and send their personal or financial information," - says Ms. Worobec. Minister of State for Security at the Home Office commented on FFA’s data during an interview with BBC: "Consequences of a financial fraud can be very scary for those who have suffered it, and scammers are using increasingly sophisticated and persuasive techniques. They prey on people, try to catch them in such moments, when they are most vulnerable to fraud: when they are busy with something or distracted." According to FFA’s estimates, 4 out of 10 people deceived by financial swindlers swallowed the bait when they felt pressure of circumstances. The same number of people was busy with something and therefore inattentive.