UK Finance: Rising fraud cases pose a 'national security threat' to UK

UK Finance: Rising fraud cases pose a 'national security threat' to UK

UK Finance, the trade association for the banking and financial services sector of the UK has reportedly called the increased level of fraud a threat to the national security. This statement apparently comes after the theft of £754 million ($ 1033.4 million approx.) from the bank customers during the first half of 2021, representing a 30% rise over the same period in 2020.

According to UK Finance, the criminals has taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic, where children as young as 14 years were targeted by the fraudsters through social media to become money mules.

It has been reported that the losses from bank transfer scams have increased by 71%, accounting for £355 million ($486.35 million approx.), during the first six months of 2021, which is around £2 million ($2.73 million approx.) per day. A total of 106,164 incidences of such fraud were reported which is equivalent to deceiving 12 individuals every half an hour.  

Sources have reported that there has been a considerable rise in the usage of cryptocurrency wallets for quickly moving the stolen money out of the banking system.

UK Finance mentioned that much of the fraudulent activity was taking place outside the banking system. It has called on the large technology firms to go further in curbing the fraud being committed through their platforms.

In order to address the issue, the main banking body has also appealed for a government-coordinated action across all sectors. It has also demanded to bring all economic crime under the online safety bill.

Earlier the largest losses reportedly involved the use of credit and debit cards to commit fraud. However, this year, the criminals have focused on using authorized push payment scams.

The impersonation scams where the fraudsters leveraged upon people’s fears about the COVID-19 crisis have recorded a rise of 123% during the first six months of this year. In this scam, the criminals pretended to be from the trusted organizations like the NHS or government departments to send out scam emails and texts.  

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.