A UK banking trade body report discovered that over £4 million or over $5 million a day were stolen from citizens during the first half of this year, 2021. This report increases 31% compared to last year’s findings due to a rise in attacks activities of threat actors.
As cybercriminals have focused their scamming activities towards authorized push-payment or APP fraud, occurred then was a 30% rise of the fraud scale all over Great Britain, according to UK Finance’s 2021 Half-Year Fraud Report. The data is in comparison to the six months, similar to last year.
In APP fraud, the fraud activity happens outside the banking system. The threat actors are tricking the victims into allowing them to conduct valid payment transactions to an account controlled by other criminals. The tactics used in such fraud activities include text messages, calls, emails, fake website scams, and deceiving the victims to hand over their private credentials.
From this increase of fraud activities by the threat actors, a spike of 71% in APP fraud alone is identified within January to June of 2021. The APP fraud activity has overtaken the amount of cash stolen from card fraud losses with up to £355 million or $484.05 million in total for the first six months this year, or at least £4 million per day.
However, because of the enhanced banking security systems, cybercriminals failed to reach their goal of over £736 million or $1.003 billion, according to UK Finance’s reports.
Researchers advise the banking and finance industry to coordinate with the government to act upon the threat and discuss the issue since fraud is now considered a national security threat. The discussion must include warranting that all economic crime is taken through the Online Safety Bill scope.
Because of this, cybercriminals have tried to alter their process of moving the stolen funds to avoid security detection and disable the victims’ opportunities to retrieve their losses. They attempted to modify the process using money mules, where they trick people into using real bank accounts in laundering illicit income. They also have a strategy to turn stolen funds into cryptocurrencies launder proceeds came from online frauds.
After the UK government has emphasized its initiatives in tackling fraudulent activities, the findings have come into place. They cited how the National Fraud Initiative has kept criminals away from the public purse ever since it launched 25 years ago. As stated by the UK Cabinet Office, over £2 billion or $2.73 billion of stolen money from frauds and scams have been prevented by the NFI.