Daily Management Review

40% Rise In UK In Number Of Bank Transfer Scams In The Past Year


40% Rise In UK In Number Of Bank Transfer Scams In The Past Year
There has been a rise of about 40 per cent in the last one year in the amount of money that had been stolen by criminals through bank transfer scams in the United Kingdom and currently the amount being stolen every month is more than £1m, claimed official data published by the UK.
According to banking body UK Finance, during the first six months of 2019, about £616m had been stolen from UK bank customers by scammers. Incidents in which bank account holders were enticed and trapped into making an authorized payment to a bank account that belonged to the criminals accounted for £207.5m of the total money that was stolen. During the same period a year ago, that amount of stolen money was 40 per cent lower at £148.2m. However, the UK Finance said it was not proper to compare the year on year figures in this regards.
The official name given to this type of a scam is authorized push payment (APP) fraud. It includes incidents in which criminals hacked the emails of bank users – both individuals and the companies that had been employed by the individuals, and persuaded the users to transfer large sums of money to the accounts of the criminals.
While there has been an increase in the amount of money duped thus, the amount of money that banks have managed to get back and return to customers duped by the scams has also dropped to 19 per cent of the total amount scammed and lost in the first half of 2019, compared to 21 per cent in the same period a year ago. This rate of reclaiming was reported despite the increase outcry about the large amounts of money that had been lost and concerns and claims that not enough was being done by the banks to stop the scams.
On 28 May 2019, a voluntary code of conduct for banks came into effect according to which the banks were directed to enhance the manner of treatment of fraud. However, the latest figures “reflect just one month” of the code, the banking body said.
Starting next year, banks will conduct name checks whenever money is sent o other people by customers of UK banks. This system however was set to be implemented in Summer of 2019 but had to be delayed for multiple reasons.
Incidents of stealing of card data from online shoppers with the use of “digital skimmers” were also noted to have risen according to UK Finance. In this scam, a retailer’s website is infected with malicious code that enables the scammers to decamp with sensitive information of users or visitors purchasing from the site such as details. These stolen details are then used to buy items online.
The report also noted an increase in the traditional modes of financial scams in the same period. For example, there was a 789 per cent increase in the money lost stolen by cheque fraud. This was mostly limited to targeted businesses by the criminals and many of the victims had been careless about the safe keeping and security of their cheque books.