UK Online Banking Fraud Losses Increase

Losses from online banking fraud in the UK rose to £60.4m (US$89.4m /€82.6m) last year, against £40.9m in 2013, according to figures from Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK).

The body, which leads the payments industry’s fight against fraud, urged individuals to make sure they have the most up-to-date security installed on their computer, including anti-virus, and be careful not to open any suspicious links or emails.

It added that criminals are changing their tactics. Instead of directly attacking payments technology and systems, a growing number of scams aim to get people to simply hand over their financial details such as dates of birth, PIN numbers and passwords.

FFA UK said businesses are also being targeted by fraudsters as they potentially have higher amounts in their accounts.

The number of online banking fraud loss cases last year was 53,192, which FFA UK said is still “relatively modest” given that an estimated 26.9m people in the UK now use online banking.

Card fraud losses increased by 6% year-on-year (YoY) to £479m. Despite the increase, the figure is still 21% below the all-time peak recorded in 2008.

The number of card transactions taking place generally has increased by 50% since 2008, with 15.8bn transactions in the UK during 2014.

FFA UK, whose membership includes banks and card issuers among others, said a driver behind the increase in card fraud is criminals using UK cards fraudulently abroad, where they can potentially get round some of their security features.

Losses on purchases using a card remotely, such as online, over the phone or by mail order, increased by 10% in 2014 to £331.5m. Contained within these figures, e-commerce card fraud losses increased by 14% YoY to reach £217.4m.

FFA UK said fraud on contactless cards was still very low, representing just 0.7p in every £100 spent on contactless.

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