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Scammers stole £500m+ from bank customers; education vital for tackling the issue

September 2018 by Fujitsu

Scammers have stolen more than £500m from UK banking customers in the first half of 2018, according to new figures from industry group UK Finance. Sarah Armstrong-Smith, Head of Continuity & Resilience at Fujitsu, comments:

"There are a number of approaches to tackling the rise in banking scams, but perhaps the most vital is to shore up the first line of defence: people. In this scenario, that means the entire British public, who have shown an appetite for more convenience and quick transactions through services such as online banking, which has fuelled the rise in fraud and increased exposure to risk.

"It’s in banks’ interest for their customers to be financially savvy, and that extends to protecting their money. Moreover, it is very much in the government’s interest to avoid people inadvertently siphoning their money to criminal organisations. The key to levelling up the general awareness of the risks of fraud, a complex and large-scale problem, is for these organisations to collaborate and bring their relative strengths to the table. Many financial services organisations, security firms, and online retailers are doing their best to protect people from scams, but at the end of the day it comes down to individual vigilance. You can have the best technical protection mechanisms in place, but without the person being aware of scams, the technical protection mechanisms will not always work.

"After all, a fifth of the public believe cybercrime and hacking are the biggest challenges facing the UK today, so there is already a sense of urgency around the topic - financial services organisations need to work ever more closely together with each other, their partners and with government to take that urgency and turn it into the practical knowledge that will protect people’s financial wellbeing."

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