A Fifth of Consumers Hit by Fraud Over Past Year

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A fifth of British consumers have suffered fraud over the past 12 months, but many could be doing more to protect their finances, according to a new study from Marqeta.

The card issuing platform polled over 4000 US and UK consumers to compile its 2020 Fraud Report.

It revealed that over a third (38%) of British adults had been the victim of financial fraud, leading many (42%) to accept it as an inevitable cost of participating in the digital economy.

Respondents were fairly split in terms of whose responsibility they think fraud prevention is, with 57% claiming it’s their own and 43% pointing to their banks.

However, it’s clear that online users could do more to protect their digital assets.

Over half (52%) of UK respondents admitted they could be better at protecting personal financial information, and just 34% check online to see if their card details have been exposed following a major data breach, versus 60% in the US.

What’s more, 14% said they lose their card every year. While 85% always cancel it when this happens, only a quarter (23%) said they do so immediately. This matters, because 82% of those who have been defrauded said it happened within an hour of them losing their card.

Fortunately, 83% believe their bank does a good job at alerting them to fraud, with nearly a fifth (39%) saying they have been proactively alerted by their bank before they noticed fraudulent activity themselves.

The current COVID-19 lockdown is offering new opportunities for fraudsters to cash-in on the pandemic, through counterfeit goods and other online scams. As a result, consumers need to be on high alert, according to Ian Johnson, European managing director for Marqeta.

“Yet this research shows that, while many people are taking steps to protect themselves, there is still a significant portion that are not,” he added.

“This may be because they have become resigned to the inevitability of fraud, but it may also be because they are often insulated from the consequences — as the survey also showed that 92% of people who had been defrauded had been able to get fraudulent transactions removed from their account. This means the banks are often carrying the financial burden of fraud.”

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