UK financial account takeovers, report warns
Although the value of suspected fraud in the UK fell 7.5% in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period a year ago, takeovers of financial accounts increased, according to a report.
Data from 217 suspected fraud cases in UK courts indicate a 57% increase in account takeover cases, according to latest KPMG report Fraud Barometer report.
The report, which records fraud cases in UK courts worth £100,000 and more, noted a “worrying” commercialization of cybercrime and a number of repeat offenders returning to court among the cases recorded.
Digital crooks used a range of techniques, including emails, text messages and smartphone apps, to obtain personal data that allowed them to take control of bank accounts and credit cards, according to the report.
In one case, a Tyneside man who was the British front of a scam carried out in India was jailed for 28 months at Newcastle Crown Court. The fraud involved online crooks who defrauded computer users of hundreds of thousands of pounds by claiming to help them fix fake virus infections.
Victims were panicked when contacting fraudsters after messages informing them that their computers had been infected. When they followed the instructions to contact a toll-free number, they were put in touch with Indian-based criminals who said they could fix the problem for a fee.
But once scammers gained access to victims’ bank details, they plundered their accounts and sometimes installed software to allow them to steal more.
“We are seeing a worrying trend of criminals hacking simply as a way to end their status as industrialized personal data brokers on the dark web,” said Roy Waligora, head of investigations at KPMG UK.
“As our digital footprint grows, cybercriminals will continue to develop new and innovative ways to steal personal data. If we are unaware of the threats, there is a great risk that we will increase our vulnerability to criminals through our inaction.
Waligora noted that the Cyber Attacks (Assets Freeze) Regulations 2019 came into force in June, requiring banks to refund customers for stolen funds through an account takeover.
“While this is a very positive step for the customer, we all need to remain vigilant as consumers will continue to bear these costs indirectly,” he said.
Another trend highlighted by the report is the number of repeat offenders returning to court. the Fraud Barometer recorded four cases of people previously convicted of fraud returning to court on new charges totaling £2.6million.
In some cases, suspected repeat offenders were able to gain employment in new roles where they were able to circumvent internal controls to continue committing fraud.
In one case, a fraudster was caught trying to pay off a £100,000 tax evasion debt with money he had stolen while staging another scam. The 57-year-old first appeared in court in 2016, when he told the judge at Leicester Crown Court he could pay back £107,000 if he had more time to find the money. ‘money.
HM Revenue and Customs investigators later discovered the fraudster was raising money to pay the debt through a second scam which involved stealing more than £580,000 from other businesses. He admitted the second fraud in court in 2019, when he was jailed for four years.
“While for most fraudsters, being caught and convicted once is enough to ensure they don’t continue committing crimes, for some the lure of the prize offered is too hard to resist – whatever the consequences,” Waligora said.
“Companies need to make sure they are making due diligence about the people they hire in their organizations – especially if they fill roles with financial responsibilities.
According to another recent research reportcyber fraud accounts for more than half of all fraud and is also a top motivator for cyber attacks against all organizations.
If left unchecked, the cross-jurisdictional nature of cyber fraud will continue to cause increased harm to individuals and businesses around the world, the report says, adding that cyber fraud should be a priority for security teams and policy makers across jurisdictions. businesses.