42% of UK targeted by fraud attacks

Forty-two per cent of people in the UK suspect they have been targeted by a phishing attack during the Covid-19 pandemic, new research from TSB revealed.

The bank suggested its findings “further demonstrate” the importance of TSB’s unique industry pledge to fully reimburse all innocent customers, including business banking customers, should they ever fall victim to fraud.

During the heightened period of fraud, TSB suggested many people had noticed an increase in the amount of communication they have received from third parties, such as their bank (42%), council (33%), their internet provider (26%) and HMRC (16%).
Surveying 2,000 adults earlier this month, TSB found 42% of respondents had suspected they’d recently been targeted by fraudsters via email (phishing), while another 29% suspected they had been targeted by phone, and 28% by text.

Furthermore, the bank found that almost three in 10 (29%) respondents thought it was unlikely that a common tactic used by fraudsters would allow them to drop scam text messages into an existing chain, mimicking a third party – which TSB suggested could mean they would be left vulnerable to this sort of fraudulent attack if targeted.
TSB head of fraud, Ashley Hart, commented: “Fraudsters are exploiting the coronavirus outbreak with increasingly complex scams designed to prey on the nation’s fears and changing circumstances, as they tailor their methods and ramp up attacks to trick people out of their hard-earned money.”
TSB said its reimbursement pledge was borne out of its recognition that fraud has become increasingly sophisticated and difficult for customers to protect themselves against, and is “especially crucial” during the current heightened period of fraudulent activity.

The bank has reimbursed 99% of all bank transfer fraud cases since April last year – double the industry average – rejecting just 1% of cases where the customer was found to be complicit in the case. TSB revealed the average cost to fraud victims across the banking sector is £2,763.804.

Hart continued: “Losses to fraud can be devastating, and I’m proud to say that all innocent victims banking with TSB have had their money returned to them – as we believe victims deserve the financial help and support to get their lives back on track again.

“TSB also continues to invest in new fraud prevention technology to stop fraud in its tracks, as well as forming partnerships with Police forces across the country to break up the criminal gangs behind the attacks.”

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