Banking fraud skyrockets in UK despite fresh security measures

Banking fraud skyrockets in UK despite fresh security measures
Card and online banking fraud are on the increase throughout the United Kingdom despite recent measures to bolster encryption methods, according to new figures from the Financial Fraud Action group (FFA UK).

The figures indicate a worrying trend in which fraudsters are turning to computer viruses to extract financial information, ranging from credit card details to intimate financial histories of internet users.

According to the FFA, £247.6m was lost due to banking fraud between January and June 2014, an increase of fifteen percent since last year.

Losses deriving from remote banking fraud totaled £35.9m, up more than 50 percent since last year. Online banking fraud, meanwhile, has risen by 71 percent since last year, totaling £2.9 million.

AFP Photo / Emmanuel Dunand

The increase in banking fraud comes despite the rollout of new technologies that use complex encryption methods to secure customer accounts.

According to the FFA, fraudsters are also using ‘phishing’ techniques to extract bank information. This involves contacting individuals by telephone and posing as a representative of their bank.

"The technology banks have been introducing over the last three years has helped fight against online fraud, but unfortunately criminals are beating the security systems simply through pressuring people to give away their passwords,” a spokesperson from the FFA said.

The news will be a blow to banks, who routinely attempt to entice customers by guaranteeing their money is safe in their hands.

Banks, including Barclays, have invested millions developing technology designed to block hackers, including software that can identify an individual by reading their veins.