£616m Stolen By Fraudsters In First 6 Months

According to official UK data, the amount of money stolen by criminals through bank transfer scams has risen by 40%.

UK Finance say that scammers stole £616m from UK bank customers during the first 6 months of 2019.

£208m of this, was stolen by criminals using authorised push payments (APP) fraud. This was a 40% increase from the £148.2m stolen in the first 6 months of 2018. This equates to £1.1m being lost a day to this type of fraud.

This loss was split between £147m for individuals and £61m for business accounts

A total of 57,549 cases were recorded by banks, a 69% rise compares with the same period in 2018.

APP fraud happens when criminals hack into email individual or company email accounts to dupe people into parting with their hard earned cash.

It is thought that banks aren’t doing enough to stop this type of fraud, with the amount of money being refunded to victims standing at 19%, a drop from the 21% who were receiving refunds a year before.

A voluntary code of conduct requiring banks to improve the way they treat fraud came into effect in May 2019. However, this figure is said to reflect only one month of the voluntary code being implemented.

UK Finance said the figures year-on-year were not directly comparable because “more banks are reporting fraud figures”.

Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, said:

“Not only does fraud have a devastating impact on victims, the money stolen online goes on to line the pockets of organised criminal gangs involved in drugs, arms and human trafficking. The finance industry is constantly investing in advanced security systems to protect customers from this threat, while helping law enforcement to apprehend and disrupt the criminals responsible.

“A new voluntary code was introduced in May that has significantly improved consumer protections from authorised push payment fraud, with signatory firms committed to reimbursing victims providing they have met certain standards.

“However, criminals are continuing to exploit vulnerabilities outside the financial sector to obtain customers’ data that is then used to commit fraud.”

This type of fraud isn’t just limited to banks, cyber criminals are using similar techniques to intercept emails between client’s and their solicitors covering a range of matters. But where there’s a money transfer involved, be aware that a cyber criminal could be waiting in the wings to intercept emails and pocket a huge payday.

What can be done to prevent APP fraud

The use of email spoofing software and compromising a company’s email communications has been a lucrative business for cyber criminals over the past few years. When client data and business reputation has never been so important, failing to protect your domain by using DMARC technologies could be extremely detrimental to your firm or business.

Does this rise in APP fraud worry you? Is you business taking sufficient steps to protect itself from cyber criminality?

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