With online banking and credit or debit cards used frequently in Britons’ day-to-day lives, they can be a big convenience. However, despite this, they can also make individuals vulnerable to criminals who are seeking to make financial gains. Fraudsters can hack an online bank account, clone a payment card or even steal it before a person becomes aware it is at risk.
While this is a staggering number, what is even more shocking is the financial loss Britons suffered – recorded at £161,221,800million.
The police force which recorded the most instances of this type of fraud was the Metropolitan Police, serving the Greater London area.
It recorded 4,224 reports within this time period, with an accumulative financial loss of £32.3million.
Following behind were Greater Manchester Police and West Midlands Police, recording 1,332 and 1,265 incidences respectively, also costing victims millions of pounds.
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Thames Valley, Kent and West Yorkshire Police recorded over 800 cases of cheque, card and online bank account fraud within this time period.
But with concerns about fraud and scams undoubtedly rising, how can Britons keep themselves safe?
Thankfully, MoneyTransfer also shared a number of its top tips to help individuals in remaining aware.
While there are different steps to take when thinking about plastic card, online bank account and cheque fraud, all can be helpful in staying secure.
First of all, it is vital one stays vigilant about their finances, undertaking a regular check to ensure there is no unusual activity going on.
If this does occur, it will be wise for individuals to report the matter immediately to their financial provider to see if the matter can be rectified.
When accessing online banking, it is important to never use public Wi-Fi hotspots, such as those which are common in libraries or coffee shops.
This is because people can never be sure about how their personal details are being tracked and logged.
Similarly, when monitoring one’s online banking, Britons will need to take extra precautions.
These include never clicking on links contained in emails and texts which pop up out of the blue, and which may not be genuine.
MoneyTransfer also warns savers to only use their bank provider’s official app and keep this updated to ensure the best security protection.
Finally, in an extra effort to protect oneself, analysing one’s credentials for banking will be a main task.
The password for online banking should be as sophisticated as possible, including a combination of special characters, numbers and both uppercase and lowercase letters.
If someone falls prey to online banking fraud or a scam, they are always encouraged to report the issue, and can do so to Action Fraud.
They may also wish to contact their bank, and even the police if the issue is particularly serious.