Around 5 million UK consumers have cancelled a payment card within the last year due to cyberfraud, representing 10 per cent of the UK population.
The figure, estimated from a recent study of 2,000 adults by comparison website comparethemarket, represents an increase of a half-million cardholders from 2016.
37 per cent of the consumers surveyed had lost money to cyberfraud in the past year, with the average amount lost at £544, amounting to a collective total of over £1 billion.
It was also found that only 12 per cent of consumers who had suffered payment card cyberfraud changed their debit or credit card provider, compared with 68 per cent who have not considered, or have no intention of changing accounts.
This is despite the fact that over a third (36 per cent) of those hacked received no alert from their bank of suspicious activity at the time of the fraud.
The Payment Systems Regulator recently announced plans to reimburse victims of cyberfraud that have lost money.
The Financial Conduct Authority has also stated that where fraud has occurred, the bank or card issuer must revert the victim’s bank account bank to its original state – i.e. before the fraud occurred. This is providing you’ve reported the crime and can prove you have not acted with negligence – for instance, if you kept your pin number written down with your card.
Head of Money at comparethemarket, Shakila Hashmi, commented: ‘These findings are really shocking. The scale of the cybercrime problem is huge, in terms of both the number of people defrauded and the amount of money stolen.
‘Digital banking is the new frontier for criminal activity, and whilst banks will be doing their best to prevent fraud, people should ensure that they are doing everything they can to protect themselves. This is particularly important as we know that banks and credit card providers aren’t always as quick off the mark as they should be in flagging suspicious activity.’
She continued: ‘One of the best ways to keep your money safe is to have multiple passwords and to regularly change these. They should also be hard to guess, so no obvious dates, names or locations.
‘Doing this and increasing your vigilance when making payments should help make it that much harder for cyber criminals to succeed, keeping the fraud frenzy at bay this festive season.’