The UK’s finance industry prevented a total loss of £1.66bn in fraud

The UK’s finance industry prevented a total of £1.66bn in fraud during 2018; however, £1.2bn was still stolen by criminals during the same period, a new study from UK Finance finds.

Fraud the Facts 2019 found that of the $1.66bn in prevented fraud was made up of $1.12bn attempted to be stolen through unauthorised card fraud, £318m in remote banking fraud and £218m in cheque fraud.

Of the £1.2bn which was stolen by criminals, £845m came through unauthorised fraud, and £354m was in authorised fraud.

One of the revelations from the report was that theft of personal and financial information through social engineering caused by data breeches outside the financial sector was a big contributor to the level of fraud losses.

Unauthorised fraudulent transactions are where the account holder has not personally authorised the transaction and was done so by a third-party. Victims of this are covered against the losses.

UK Finance found that the £845m of losses in unauthorised fraud was up by 16 per cent on 2017.

Unauthorised payment card transaction fraudulent losses rose in 2018 by 19 per cent to £671m; however, the industry was able to prevent £1.2bn in losses, an increase of 14 per cent on 2017. Of the £671m lost in card fraud, around three-quarters (£506m) was conducted through stolen card details buying something online, over the phone or through mail order.

Losses caused through remote banking fraud totalled £153m, a decreased of 2 per cent on 2017, while cheque fraud losses increased by 109 per cent to £21m.

Authorised push payment (APP) scams counted for a total of £354m in total losses, split between £228m in personal accounts and £126m in business accounts.

An APP scam works with a customer being fooled into authorising a payment to another account, which is owned by a criminal.

UK Finance managing director of economic crime Katy Worobec said, “Last month, the finance industry and consumer groups agreed a voluntary Code which will increase protection for customers from authorised push payment scams. It delivers a significant commitment from signatories to reimburse victims when the customer has met the standards expected of them under the Code.

“At the same time the industry continues to fight fraud on every front to protect customers and prevent this kind of crime – 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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