ONLINE FRAUD INCREASES BY OVER 60 PERCENT – According to statistics provided by the UK authorities, online fraud has increased by 60% in the last five years and by 21% this year alone.
Further statistics also reveal an overall drop in crime and police are stating that crime has now reached an all-time low in the past 30 years.
According to the police, crime figures peaked in 1995 but with greater measures of detection and improvements in forensic science, the crime rate has continued to drop – all bar online fraud which continues to grow at an alarming rate.
In the last 12 months figures released show a marked improvement in tackling crime as it dropped by 7% – the report detailed some 8.5 million criminal offences in the UK during the last 12 month period.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau also revealed that over 316,000 crimes, involving illegal bank payments and transfers were also recorded.
What can you do to prevent becoming a victim? There are in fact a number of precautions you can take such as never giving out your credit card or bank details to anyone over the phone – no matter how convincing the caller may sound.
In the event that you do receive a phone call allegedly from your bank, simply thank them for letting you know and tell them that you will visit the bank first thing in the morning.
The ploy used by criminals is to pretend they are calling from the bank to notify you of an unauthorized use of your bank card; again this is often the case of fraud about to take place.
If you are asked for your details, refuse and simply ask for the card to be cancelled – if it’s fraud the card won’t be cancelled but once you have made this request simply hang up the phone. Note that you might get another call back as fraudsters are persistent – again refuse to give any information and then hang up. If the caller persists then call the police from another phone.
Remember to visit your bank in person the next day to verify the issue.
As for your activities online, always ensure you run some form of security software and never buy from any website without doing a little research on the company – especially if you have never heard of them before.
A quick online search can often help in detecting online stores that are bogus; there has also been a plague of travel sites being set up to defraud travelers so be wary of websites offering travel deals that appear too good to be true – they generally are.
Online dating sites are also causing major concern for authorities around the world. Fraudsters often target lonely and vulnerable women under a false account and then set about getting to know them only with fraud in mind – see the video below as this is a stark reminder just how easy it is to fall victim to online fraudsters.
Remember, be vigilant and never trust anyone online that you do not know. It is a good idea never to store sensitive data, such as credit card numbers and bank details, on your computer and if you are ever asked to submit such data via email, simply refuse.