It was recently revealed that up to half of all reported financial crime is either fraud or cyber-crime, and that this growing exponentially year on year, despite fraud being hugely underreported and only one in eight cases being investigated.
Speaking at a recent conference Commissioner Ian Dyson of the City of London Police, emphasised this point at the event, by stating “75% of all fraud crimes reported are cyber-enabled – it’s now a lot easier than robbing a bank and the rewards are far greater”.
Dyson’s warnings were echoed by speakers from the FCA, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and HM Treasury, and more, who suggested that London is becoming the ‘money laundering capital of the world and that detection is a prevalent challenge with external and internal auditing picking up 4% and 16% of fraud respectively and whistleblowing unmasking up to 40% of issues.
Further to this, the pace of technological advancement was also flagged, with the stark reminder that criminals often have equally sophisticated technology at their disposal as firms do, equating to a ‘technological arms race’ to ensure the protection of firms and their clients from evolving new techniques and technologies. They stated that as our daily lives and lifestyles are becoming increasingly impacted by technology so too are the dangers of cyber enabling. Numerous ways to protect firms and clients were also discussed on the day from industry-wide co-operation in sharing information to new police and governmental efforts to issues such as training your staff and educating clients to counteract ‘the human threat’.
Speaking about the cost and scale of fraud Max Bruce, Cyber Protect Officer – National Fraud Intelligence Bureau sharing that 741,000 crimes of fraud were reported last year, from up to the total value of £2.2b in victim losses, with only 35% of reports from individual victims. He also highlighted that 86% of fraud was cyber-enabled; 33% by mobile/telephone, 13% online shopping, 12% email, and the importance of staying vigilant to growing mandate fraud. Mandate fraud was said to affect businesses year on year, with over 8,300 reports last year and a reported loss of £180m.