Fraud soars by 53% in a year
According to the latest figures released by Financial Fraud Action (FFA) UK , more than 1 million incidents of financial fraud occurred in the first six months – representing a rise of 53% compare to the same period last year. Official figures show 1,007,094 cases compared with 660,308 cases of financial fraud between 1st January and 30th June, and involves online and phone banking, debit and credit cards, and cheques. This means that in the UK this year a fraud incident happened in the UK every 15 seconds in the first six months.
Take Five to stop Fraud
FFA UK and major banks and financial services providers have come together for the first time to launch a national campaign to combat financial fraud called Take Five which focuses on financial frauds that directly target customers, such as phishing. Impersonation and deception scams, are among the biggest growth areas, which involve criminals duping victims into disclosing their details. Getting access to a person’s email account grants the attacker ways to impersonate the person’s bank, builder, solicitor or other trades person.
Business Email Compromise, where attackers spoof the emails of senior executives so that they can siphon off funds from the victim have proven very successful, yielding approximately two and a half billion USD (~£2bn) since October 2013. But scammers are now increasingly targeting individuals, by pretending to be bank staff, police or staff belonging to an investment firm they may do business with.
Katy Worobec, Director of FFA UK, said: “Banks and other financial service providers work hard to protect their customers, using highly sophisticated security systems. Last year, banks stopped £7 in £10 of attempted fraud from happening. But as the banks’ systems get more advanced, fraudsters turn their attention elsewhere and sadly this often means tricking people out of their personal details and money. Alongside the banks, people can also play an important part in helping us to stop financial fraud and protect themselves. We are asking people to take five – to take that moment – to pause and think before they respond to any financial requests and share any personal or financial details.”
Home Office Security Minister, Ben Wallace, backed the campaign saying “The impact of financial fraud can be devastating on victims, with fraudsters using increasingly cunning and convincing tactics. They prey on people who are trying to get on with their lives but in a moment where they are busy or distracted become vulnerable. The message of the Take Five campaign is don’t be hurried or hustled, take a moment before you give out any personal information.”
How exposed are you to Phishing?
With the rise in instances of phishing and cyber fraud, and the costly damages and loss seen by victims of ransomware and Business Email Compromise, there is a need to test your organisations’ susceptibility to social engineering attacks in a similar way in which you should test your network security defences with penetration testing.
The assessment identifies email addresses related to the organisation that are exposed on the Internet and easy to find for cyber criminals. These email addresses can in turn be used to launch social engineering, spear phishing and ransomware attacks against the business. These types of attack are hard to defend against unless users have next-generation security awareness training. The more email addresses and identities that are exposed, the larger the phishing attack surface is and the higher the risk.
Phishing Exposure Assessments by Infosec Partners is a service that safely simulates phishing attacks to test the security awareness of your staff, and simultaneously evaluates your network security infrastructure’s ability to reflect attacks.
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