The cost of fraud to Britain rose above £1billion for the first time in five years in 2016, driven in part by a huge surge in cyber crime.
The total value of fraud in Britain soared 55% to £1.14 billion last year, despite the number of cases dropping by nearly a third from 310 to 220, KPMG’s Fraud Barometer showed.
KPMG – which measured cases in UK courts with losses of £100,000 or more – said this was due to a rise in “super cases” worth more than £50million, while the value of the average fraud case doubled to £5.2million from £2.4million.
The barometer also highlighted a 1,266% jump in cyber fraud which reached £124 million in 2016.
The new tricks they’re trying
One new case saw cold callers pretending to be members of bank fraud departments and persuaded some 750 victims to reveal security details. Gang members were making between £1million and £2million a week during the scam’s peak, taking a total £113million from victims between January 2013 and October 2015. They targeted Lloyds and RBS business banking customers and, while police said no insiders from within the RBS banking group were discovered, three Lloyds collaborators were convicted.
It was described by police as one of the biggest cyber fraud scams ever investigated in the UK. KPMG UK forensic partner Hitesh Patel said: “Both public and private organisations openly acknowledge that cyber-attacks are one of the most prevalent and high-impact risks they face, and yet many operate on the basis ‘it won’t happen to me’.”Fraud against businesses was up seven-fold in 2016, with internal fraud committed by employees and management the most common type.
Business lobby group the Institute of Directors (IOD) said last month that a cyber attack was likely to topple a major company in 2017 as companies faced a growing threat to their security systems from hackers. Meanwhile, a survey by PWC found that 76% of UK chief executives considered cyber risks a significant business threat.
Patel said: “Organisations must keep abreast of the cyber threats, both physical and digital, to ensure the protection mechanisms don’t become obsolete given the pace of technology and business change.
“You can have variety of IT protections in place to defend yourself but it’s all for nothing if you are tricked into giving away the keys to the electronic vault.”
Get Safe Online has produced the following tips to staying safe:
- Review your passwords to make sure they are strong and not use the same ones for more than one account
- Check social media privacy settings
- Update operating systems and software programs or apps if prompted,
- Back up information using the cloud and check that internet security software and apps are up to date and switched on.
Experian has these 10 tips to keeping yourself safe from fraudsters away from the internet as well as while online:
- Always shred or destroy documents that contain personal information before throwing them away.
- Never respond to cold phone calls or emails asking for account details, PINs, passwords or personal information.
- Don’t give too much away on networking websites. For example, pet or children’s names could be used as passwords.
- Register to vote at your current address. If you do not, thieves could use your previous address details to open new credit accounts – and run up debts in your name.
- Monitor your post regularly so you know when to expect important documents – and when to act if they do not arrive.
- Redirect your mail if you move house.
- Always use secure, unique passwords for as many online accounts as possible, and ideally all of them. At the very least have a unique password for each type of service provider such as financial services, retail services and email.
- Don’t store account names and passwords on your smartphone, either in email, as a note, or to “autocomplete” when you open a website or app. This information could be used by a fraudster if your device is lost or stolen.
- Read all bank and card statements regularly to check for suspicious transactions.
- Your credit report will list your credit accounts and what you owe, so you can spot applications and spending that are nothing to do with you
Author – Kalyeena Makortoff and James Andrew[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]