Online bank fraud down, phone scams up


Online banking fraud fell 32 per cent in the first half of 2011, as consumers and financial institutions upped their security game.

Losses resulting from online bank fraud hit 16.9 million between January and June 2011, the UK Cards Association found.

However, phone banking fraud losses rose to 8.6 million, representing a rise of almost 50 per cent.

Losses are appreciably lower than they were a few years ago and everyone involved in tackling fraud has reason to be encouraged.

Telephone scammers have been using standard tricks, such as pretending to be a bank or police representative to dupe victims into handing over financial information.

Overall there was a nine per cent reduction in fraud losses, hitting an 11-year low of 169.8 million.

"Losses are appreciably lower than they were a few years ago and everyone involved in tackling fraud has reason to be encouraged by this and that includes bank customers who, as their own front-line of defence, have certainly played their part too," said DCI Paul Barnard, head of the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit.

"However, there has been an increase in old fashioned scams criminals using distraction techniques and social engineering methods to get hold of people's cards or phone banking details. We are urging everyone to be on their guard."

The UK Cards Association said the overall drop in fraud was caused by a number of factors, including use of better fraud detection software and the roll-out of updated chip cards.

A KPMG study from earlier this year showed 2010 was the worst year ever for fraud.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.