FFA UK Reveals Scams and Online Attacks Drive Financial Fraud Increase

More than one million cases of fraud were recorded in H1 2016 increasing by a quarter to $490.2 million.

Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) has today published a statement revealing that financial fraud in the first half of 2016 increased by a quarter to £399.5 million ($490.2 million) as a result of scams and online attacks, with over one million cases of fraud recorded.

FFA UK is an organisation under which the financial services industry co-ordinates its activities on fraud prevention, representing a united front against financial fraud and its effects.

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According to FFA UK’s statement, banks’ security systems continued to prevent the majority of fraud from taking place with prevented fraud totalling £678.7 million ($832.9 million).

Total financial fraud losses across payment cards, remote banking and cheques were £399.5 million ($490.2 million) in the first half of the year, a 25 per cent increase on the same period in 2015, when total losses were £320.3 million ($393.1 million).

Losses on payment cards, including remote purchase fraud, lost and stolen cards, card not received, counterfeit card and card ID theft was £321.5 million ($394.5 million), compared to £244.6 million ($300.2 million) in the first half of 2015, an increase of 31 per cent. The prevented loss for cards was £475.7 million ($583.8 million).

Remote purchase fraud increased by 31 per cent to £224.1 million ($275.0 million) between January and June, compared to £171.7 million ($210.7 million) in the same period of 2015.

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Evidence has shown that fraudsters are using card details obtained with malware and data breaches, while there are more opportunities to commit such crimes due to the growing number of e-commerce sites.

This aspect was revealed by Finance Magnates in August after it was reported that financial malware attacks saw a 16 percent rise in the second quarter of this year, according to data published by Computer Weekly.

There was a slight increase in remote banking losses, up from £66.2 million ($81.2 million) in the first half of 2015, to £70.6 million ($86.6 million) with a prevented loss of £103.2 million ($126.6 million).

Scams continue to drive remote banking fraud with criminals tricking victims into handing over their money or banking details.

Commenting on the latest data, Katy Worobec, Director of FFA UK said, “Banks use a range of robust security systems to protect their customers but as these systems become more sophisticated, criminals have increasingly been turning to scams and exploiting data breaches to con victims out of their personal and security information, as well as money”.

She added, “The industry takes its responsibility to combat fraud extremely seriously, but banks cannot stop all fraud on their own. It is essential all organisations with a role to play work together to better protect individuals and companies.”


FFA UK is responsible for leading the collective fight against fraud in the UK payments industry. Its membership includes the major banks, credit, debit and charge card issuers and card payment acquirers.

Its primary role is to drive collaborative action to reduce the impact of financial fraud and scams both across the industry, and with partners in the public sector, private sector, and law enforcement. It operates its own data and intelligence sharing bureau and sponsors a fully operational police unit.

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