Over £2bn stolen from UK adults in the past 12 months

Written by Oliver Wade
09/08/2018

Over £2bn has been stolen from people’s bank and credit card accounts in the last year, averaging £833.54 per person, a 38% (£233) increase compared to last year, according to a poll commissioned by Compare the Market.

The poll revealed that almost 10% of adults in the UK have been defrauded via their debit or credit card in the past 12 months, equating to 4.7 million people across the country. As a result of this, almost 5 million have had their credit card, debit card or bank account cancelled or replaced due to the attempted fraud.

The most common form that this fraud takes has been through online payments, with 28% experiencing a hack of either card or account. Alarmingly, 27% of victim do not know or cannot remember how they were hacked.

Despite the amount of money being stolen increasing, the level of cyber fraud in the UK has fallen over the past year. Just over half of fraud victims have had money stolen in the last year, compared to the 5.5 million people that became victims of fraud between May 2016 and May 2017.

Compare the Market found that a growing area of concern is in pre-populated debit or credit card details that many people use to make online purchases. A third of respondents’ credit or debit cards details are saved using web browsing ‘auto-fill’ technology, with 56% stating that they are concerned about the safety of this technology.

Interestingly, the poll highlighted that, despite the high levels of fraud, few people have changed providers as a result. Over three quarters (79%) have not changed bank or credit card provider after falling victim to a cyberattack, and are not considering changing. However, 44% of respondents claimed they had to alert their provider to suspicious activity, something that most consumers would expect their bank or credit card supplier to do on their behalf.

Commenting on the findings, Compare the Market head of money Shakila Hashmi said: “In the last two years, we have seen the average amount stolen from accounts soar from £475 in 2016 to £833 in 2018. This is an extremely worrying trend and suggests a significant rise in aggressive bank and credit card fraud.

It is also worrying that so few people decide to take action by moving provider after an attack takes place. Whilst we do all have a responsibility to try keep our banking and card details secure, providers have a duty of care to ensure that their customers are as protected as possible. It is also vital that they jump on suspicious activity, something that our research suggests does not happen enough.

“However, it is reassuring to see that some behaviour is changing as a result of fraud. People are more likely to check their bank and credit card accounts regularly, and to have different passwords and pins for their various accounts, and most now won’t give out their bank details over the phone. All of these measures need to be ramped up in order for people to lessen the chance of being hacked. “

Hashmi has urged consumers to “vote with their feet” and move to suppliers with a better client service rating, in the instance that the provider has not spotted suspicious activity or dealt with a cyberattack to the best of their ability.

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