The cost of crime
In 2016, £768 million was lost to financial fraud – that’s a 2% increase on the previous year. But while that’s a scarily large amount, more than £1 billion was saved by preventing fraud.
Experts put the 2% rise down to a growth in online attacks and deception scams, where criminals pretend to be from genuine companies asking customers to verify their details or accounts. It’s all too easy to think ‘it won’t happen to me’ but fraud is now one of the most common crimes in England and Wales.
Fraudulent activity isn’t just limited to one platform either – it can happen across internet banking, online retailers and even via other remote shopping methods, such as over the telephone and by mail order. Collectively, this is known as ‘remote purchase fraud’ and it makes up the biggest proportion of all card crime (70% in 2016). As the name suggests, remote purchase fraud happens when card details are stolen, usually by hacking, phishing or digital attacks.
E-commerce or internet shopping fraud cost victims £308.8 million last year – an increase of nearly 20% on 2015 figures. Another reason to stay alert online is ‘account takeover’ card theft, which occurs when criminals pretend to be you by gathering your personal information. More than £24 million was lost to this type of fraud in 2016 – an increase of 1%.