Recent research from the Trade Association UK Finance (UKF) states that criminals are currently stealing £2m per day, with a total of £753.9m stolen through fraud in the first half of this year alone.
UKF is now calling on a Government-coordinated action plan to ensure that all economic crime is brought within the scope of the Online Safety Bill.
These latest figures come on the back of the huge rise in text and call cons during the coronavirus pandemic, a topic that we have visited before. Indeed, cyber security experts revealed back in May that they had taken down more scams in the last 12 months than the previous three years combined.
Investment scams are heavily enabled by fraudulent advertising, search engines and social media, with ever more sophisticated technology to back-up the false advertising. In some cases, social media 'influencers' are used or duped into promoting scams to create an air of legitimacy.
Criminals are also changing their tactics by targeting people as young as 14 using social media to become money mules – this is where their bank account is used to launder stolen cash.
The good news is that some £6.49 in every £10 of attempted unauthorised fraud was blocked by banks and other financial firms - but that still leaves ample rewards for the unscrupulous criminals who target individuals.
Prevention is always better than a cure and it’s important that beyond the banks’ protection schemes more is being done to reduce the increasing number of scams emerging on tech and social platforms.
UKF urges customers to follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign.
And always remember, it’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests and only criminals will try to rush or panic people into divulging personal information.
For further information visit our fraud resource page at Fraud Resources | NEBRC (nebrcentre.co.uk)