Bank fraud, including online banking fraud refers to the act of using illegal means to obtain money or other assets held by a financial institution.
A recent study from Lloyds Bank found that millennials are most likely to be conned by bank account fraud while over 55s lose the most money per scam. The study shows that 18-34-year-olds lose an average of £2630 to fraud, generally conducted by scammers impersonating bank staff, police or HMRC personnel. With online banking fraud and investment fraud on the rise, more fraudsters are becoming implicated in scams. But what are the differences between these scams and how do you know if you’ve been caught up in one, either as a victim or perpetrator?
Popular with fraudsters, phishing is a type of online banking fraud. The perpetrator sends a forged, realistic email that impersonates an online bank or payment site and redirects the recipient to a fake website that mimics the login page of the legitimate banking site. The page asks the user to update their personal information and steals it to hack the user’s accounts or for identity theft. With so much banking done online, especially by millennials, it’s not surprising that this is a common type of bank fraud. Fraudsters are becoming highly skilled at creating convincing emails and websites, which makes it difficult for victims to protect themselves. They might even ask you to transfer money to another account by posing as bank staff telling you your account has been compromised. This is a common form of bank transfer fraud.
Signs of phishing:
– Incorrect URLs which pose as the legitimate site but have slight discrepancies
– Requests for information. These are usually made for sensitive information online.
– Unofficial email addresses. Phishers will not be emailing from your bank so there will be something off about their email address.
– Impersonal emails. Your bank will address you by name, whereas phishers generally use a generic title such as ‘sir’ or ‘madam.’
– Spelling mistakes. Errors within the email are another sign something isn’t right. Legitimate emails will always be meticulously written.
This method targets businesses by impersonating a supplier, usually via email, asking to update the bank details invoices are paid into. This might look entirely innocent if the fraudster has hacked the supplier’s info.
Signs of invoice fraud:
– An email that looks legitimate but asks you to start paying into a new account.
Credit or Debit Card Fraud
Skimming is the illegal process of duplicating the information found on the magnetic strip of a credit card. This usually happens when a credit or debit card is lost or stolen as the fraudster can skim the data located in the magnetic strip or use the card online by using the card details. While scammers can’t withdraw cash without the card pin, they can use the card to pay via contactless if you have this feature enabled on your card. It is now possible to scan cards contactlessly through bags. However, some retailers and merchants have been known to abuse customer bank information by stealing copies of the credentials while using the card during a purchase.
Signs of credit card fraud:
– If you haven’t lost your card, anything that doesn’t match your spending habits could be a sign of financial fraud
– If your card is missing, you might have been a victim of credit card fraud
For more information on bank fraud and the other types of financial fraud, such as investment fraud and insurance fraud please visit our fraud page. If you believe you are being suspected of bank fraud or think you have been implicated or are being investigated for a scam, contact our team of specialist fraud barristers today.