Barclays is spearheading a new £10m nationwide drive to increase the public’s awareness of financial fraud risks, and help them to stay safe in the digital age with information, tools and tips.
This major initiative is being launched as latest crime figures show 5.6m fraud and cyber offences in the UK making up half of all recorded crime, and costing the UK £11bn*. Yet, these numbers could be even higher as new Barclays research reveals a quarter of people in the UK (25 percent) have experienced a cyber-fraud or scam in the past three years, 18 per cent of them more than once, suggesting that many cyber-crimes go unreported.
The new national Digital Safety Index survey, released today, also shows that:
Barclays UK CEO is calling for the public, police and businesses across the UK to unite and tackle this growing issue of public concern.
Under the new Digital Safety drive:
Ashok Vaswani, Chief Executive of Barclays UK, said:
“Fraud is often wrongly described as an invisible crime, but the effects are no less damaging to people’s lives. As a society our confidence in using digital technology to shop, pay our bills and connect with others has grown faster than our knowledge of how to do so safely. This has created a ‘digital safety gap’ which is being exploited by criminals. I believe the need to fight fraud has now become a national resilience issue, and we all need to boost our digital safety levels in order to close the gap.
“That is why we are launching this new national campaign on digital safety, and we will do all in our power to arm people with the tools and information they need. But we also need to support and encourage the public to take action to protect themselves, such as changing passwords regularly. They can take the first step by completing our new free online quiz and discover how to boost their defences.
“I want to help make digital safety as commonplace as locking your front door. I want businesses, the police and the public to unite and stand shoulder to shoulder together so that we can block and frustrate the bad guys at every turn.”
Laura Flack, Barclays Head of Digital Safety, said:
“Each one of us probably knows someone who fallen victim to a criminal fraudster. Crooks are using ever more sophisticated tactics to trick people into handing over their bank details, or to pay money to a fraudster when they believe they are simply paying their builder or solicitor.
“It’s alarming that younger people and those in cities are more at risk. We need to super-charge our digital know-how and talk to our friends and relatives to prevent these crimes from happening. Often staying safe isn’t rocket science. A few practical steps and a dose of vigilance can boost your safety immeasurably. Remember if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Barclays estimates that if people implemented these three top tips we could help to cut levels of fraud by up to 75 percent
1. Never give out your full Online Banking PIN, Passcode or Password to anyone, even a caller claiming to be from the police or your bank.
2. Do not click on any link or open an attachment on any e-mail you receive which is unsolicited.
3. Avoid letting someone you do not know have access to your computer, especially remotely.