Press Releases

Banking fraud up 13% as fraudsters continue to wreak havoc

Today’s ONS crime figures show banking and credit fraud is up 13% in the year ending June 2016. John Marsden, Head of ID and Fraud at Equifax, comments:

“Companies have stepped up their fraud protection with multiple layered fraud defenses, but this often moves criminal activity to channels that are less well protected. Fraud is a surprisingly professional industry. The number of cases continues to rise as criminals find new ways to access information, often fuelled by a deep understanding of their target’s identity.  Underlying this is the sharing of knowledge and consumers’ personal information across dark web marketplaces.

Consumers must take steps to protect themselves from falling prey to fraudulent behavior. People are without doubt confused about where to store and share confidential information like their bank account number, sort code and even date of birth. As consumers seek the convenience and speed offered by digital correspondence, they expose themselves to fraudsters who will steal this information to gain access to accounts and financially exploit individuals.

“Data shared on the dark web can’t be treated as a one-time event; the data never truly vanishes and can spread globally in a short amount of time, enabling criminals to fraudulently takeover accounts and identities. To reduce the risks and damage associated with fraudulent activity, more needs to be done to educate the public and give them a stronger chance of protecting themselves. The advice is very clear; remain vigilant, only share your details when you are sure the channel is secure, and keep the following guidelines in mind when handling your personal information:

  1. Do not do your online banking in public places and definitely do not use public Wi-Fi (criminals can set up bogus public Wi-Fi hotspots to access devices and information)

  2. Never respond to unprompted banking messages unless you are absolutely certain the request is genuine  for example you have spoken with your bank to confirm

  3. Be very aware of domain names online and the security signs visible in a browser. Make sure you log on to a banking website at a web address you know, not via a link

  4. Never provide any banking details to a third party you don’t know or are unsure about (in part or as a whole)

  5. Avoid unnecessarily sharing details such as your name, address and date of birth