ONS statistics show consumer and retail fraud on the rise

Commenting on today’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) crime in England and Wales statistical bulletin, Josh Gunnell, our head of fraud & ID pre-sales said:

“The latest ONS figures illustrate the changing face of fraud, using the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and data from Action Fraud. The CSEW figures showed a stabilisation of the fraud figures overall, although there has been a significant increase in consumer and retail fraud – up 27% on the previous year – which includes fraudulent sales, ticketing fraud and some more sophisticated fraud typologies. Whilst the data implies that the financial services industry has been effective in reducing fraud in certain areas, the inclusion of new data on Authorised Push Payments fraud – where victims are tricked into sending money directly from their account to one the fraudster controls – highlights the extent of this multifaceted problem.

“People are spending more time and money online, which correlates with this increase in fraudulent activity. Over half of the fraud reported in the last year is thought to be cyber-enabled, but unfortunately, some organisations do not appear to have adequate controls in place to mitigate the risks. While businesses are constantly evolving their processes to make them as streamlined as possible for the customer journey in an ever more competitive environment, and educating customers on the risks they face in transacting online and from social engineering, they often forget that at the same time, changes they are introducing may unwittingly be making things easier for the perpetrators of fraud too. After all, the metrics imply a migration of fraud into different typologies, rather than a blanket reduction.

“Businesses need to be doing all they can to protect their customers, and themselves, by implementing a layered fraud prevention approach that comprises both technology and human-based solutions. Whilst the majority recognise this, as we found in our recent research, it’s an ongoing battle for businesses to try and stay a step ahead of the fraudsters.”