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UK Online Fraud Blasts Past £2bn

Cyber-enabled fraud losses have rocketed over the past 12 months with more than £2bn collectively stolen from the bank accounts of UK cardholders, according to Compare the Market.

The price comparison site’s poll of 2000 UK adults revealed that 9% had been defrauded over the past year, which roughly equates to 4.7 million people nationwide.

The figure is significantly less than the 5.5 million estimated to have lost money between May 2016 and May 2017. However, the amount stolen has risen 38% over the period, from £600 per person to £833.

The most common form of fraud was via online payments (28%), although 27% said they don’t know or can’t remember how they were defrauded.

Over half (56%) of respondents said they were also concerned about the security of card details saved in the browser. The autofill function is increasingly popular with consumers, with 31% of respondents claiming to use it. However, last year it emerged that it could be abused by fraudsters to harvest credentials if users are tricked by specially crafted phishing sites.

Of potentially even greater concern is the stat that 44% of respondents interviewed by Compare the Market claimed they had to alert their bank about fraudulent activity, not the other way round.

Despite this, 79% said they haven’t changed bank or credit card provider after experiencing an online attack and are not considering changing. This may reflect the perception that fraud is inevitable irrespective of provider.

“It is reassuring to see that some behavior is changing as a result of fraud. People are more likely to check their bank and credit card accounts regularly, and to have different passwords and PINs for their various accounts, and most now won’t give out their bank details over the phone,” said head of money at Compare the Money, Shakila Hashmi.

“All of these measures need to be ramped up in order for people to lessen the chance of being hacked. However, if a provider has not spotted suspicious activity or has not dealt with a fraud to the best of their ability then it is vital that people vote with their feet and move to suppliers with a better client service rating.”

The figures contrast separate findings from FICO last month which claimed card-not-present (CNP) fraud losses in the UK had dropped 8% over the past year, despite rising 2% across Europe.

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