Crime

Alleged fraud reaches £319m in first half of 2019

Over £319m of alleged fraud hit UK Courts in the first half of 2019, down from £345m in the same period last year according to KPMG’s Fraud Barometer.

Some 217 cases of alleged fraud were heard in courts across the country, a decrease of 13% on the same time last year, which saw 249 cases.

The Fraud Barometer, which records fraud cases coming to UK Courts with a value of £100,000 and above, noted a “worrying” commercialisation of cyber-crime and a number of repeat offenders making their way back to court amongst the cases recorded – with criminals advertising their services on the dark web.

The data also recorded a 57% increase in the number of account takeover cases reaching court, in the first half of the year where digital scammers used a range of techniques including email, SMS and apps to get hold of personal data that then enabled them to take over bank and credit card accounts.

Roy Waligora, KPMG UK Head of Investigations, said: “We are noting a worrying move from criminals simply hacking as a means to an end to being industrialised personal data brokers on the dark web.

“As our digital footprints get larger, cybercriminals will continue to develop new and innovative ways to steal personal data. If we are not alive to the threats, there is a great risk that we increase our vulnerability to criminals through our inaction.”

He added: “The Cyber-Attacks (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/956) entered into force in June, and require banks to repay funds to customers stolen as a result of account takeover. Whilst this is a very positive step for the customer, we all need to remain vigilant as consumers will continue to bear such costs indirectly.”

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