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Fraud decreased in first half of 2017

02 October 2017

FINANCIAL FRAUD losses of £366.4 million in the first half of 2017 were 8 percent lower year-on-year, figures from UK Finance show.

The data, which covers payment cards, remote banking and cheques, also shows that the industry prevented over £750 million of fraud during the same period, or 67 per cent of attempted fraud. This compares with £400.4 million of losses and £678.7 million of prevented fraud in the first half of 2016.
Fraudsters are increasingly trying to use customers’ compromised personal and financial information to carry out fraud. Details are primarily stolen through online attacks, such as data hacks and malware, as well as through impersonation scams directly targeting customers.

The new data comes as the banking industry and government join forces to launch the next phase of Take Five to Stop Fraud – the national campaign that offers advice to help customers protect themselves from fraud. Launching on Monday 2 October 2017, the campaign is focused on helping customers to recognise scams and confidently challenge any requests for their personal or financial details by remembering the phrase ‘My money? My info? I don’t think so’.

Other key figures included 

  • The industry helped prevent over £500 million in attempted card fraud. Actual fraud losses on cards were down 11 per cent on the same period the year before, to £287.3 million;
  • Card spending increased by 8.4 percent year-on-year across the six-month period, meaning card fraud as a proportion of spending equates to 7.5p for every £100 spent, down from 8.7p in the first half of 2016. It peaked in February 2002 when it was 18.9p per £100;
  • £160.2 million of remote banking fraud was prevented. Remote banking fraud totalled £73.8 million, a 3 percent rise from £71.5 million in 2016. This covers criminals gaining access to an internet, phone or mobile banking account to make an unauthorised transaction;
  • £88.8 million of cheque fraud was prevented. Cheque fraud losses fell to £5.3 million, a 28 percent drop on the same period in 2016. This is the lowest half year total on record; and
  • There were 937,518 cases of financial fraud, a figure that has remained flat compared with the year before.

City of London Police national policing lead for fraud Commander Dave Clark said: "Today’s figures from UK Finance illustrate the positive impact that partnerships between industry and policing can have on fighting fraud.

"There is still much to do, particularly in relation to identify theft and the crimes it enables. Stolen identities can be used to apply for fake bank accounts and credit or, as highlighted by City of London Police this week, be used to set up criminal websites. Criminals are smart and use many techniques to get hold of our personal data, and once they have it, they use it for criminal activity that ultimately can decimate lives. We urge everyone to check what data is publicly available about themselves and be extremely careful with what they post on social media."

UK Finance head of fraud and financial crime prevention, cyber and data Katy Worobec added: “Tackling fraud is a top priority for the entire industry. But financial fraud is not just an issue for the banking sector – its harmful effects stretch far and wide. This is why when it comes to prevention, protection or deterrents the industry is committed to taking a collaborative approach to curb these crimes and is launching the latest Take Five consumer campaign. Whether it’s banks refining their own security systems or a retailer holding customer data securely, everyone has a part to play.

“Next week our Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign in partnership with the Home Office kicks off to make sure customers know what to do to stay safe from the latest scams. Through the campaign we want to encourage all customers to remember to Take Five by saying ‘My money? My info? I don’t think so’.”

The Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign is backed by financial providers across the industry. The campaign encourages everyone to question uninvited approaches and never give out personal or financial details. Customers can expect to see and hear Take Five ‘My money? My info? I don’t think so’ across a wide range of media including radio and online over the coming months.