Fraud is so common now – here we look at the main categories, and what you can do to help keep your systems safe and protect from fraud.
Fraud is becoming more widespread, with an estimated 3.6 million fraud cases in 2018 – yet only 276,000 cases were reported to the police. The estimates show a 12 % increase year on year.
There are 4 main categories for fraud:
- Online shopping, and online auction fraud was the most reported category
- Advance fee fraud is where you are asked to pay upfront and never receive what you’ve paid for
- Computer fixing fraud is most common in Norfolk, nearly double the national average. What does this say about Norfolk people!
- Cheque, plastic card and online bank fraud is the fourth most popular category.
Increasingly popular is identity fraud, rising fastest for victims who are over 60 and under 21. The two most likely sources of information to enable a fraudster to use your identity are the internet, and the individual themselves.
Latest scams that are reported in large numbers include:
- Spoof HMRC phone calls, threatening prosecution because of apparently unpaid tax. Where there is any unpaid tax, HMRC will initially make contact by letter.
- Talk Talk refunds, with a link to a malicious website
- TV Licensing scam, asking for you to update your bank records to avoid prosecution. Over 900 cases have been reported with losses to individuals totalling £830,000.
- BT scam offering enhanced security, where you are asked to let a technician log into your computer, which they then take control of, and ask you to log into your bank account.
How to protect from fraud
As more services are online, ensuring your computer is secure is ever more critical. The police Action Fraud website contains useful information on how to protect yourselves, including the free cybercrime protection service Quad9 and DMARC.
Quad9 is a free security solution which acts to protect your system against the most common cyber threats, and also improving your system performance and enhancing your privacy. DMARC is designed to protect your business from email fraud.
The Global Cyber Alliance has developed a CyberSecurity Toolkit specifically designed for small and medium sized businesses. It offers actionable guidance and tools with clear directions to protect your business from cyber attacks. If your business isn’t protected – it’s time to act now.