KIS Bridging Loans
 
Presented by KIS Finance
 
Fraud and Cybercrime: A Simple Quiz Reveals Worrying Results
14,000 people completed our mini questionnaire and fraud prevention quiz. It was designed to test peoples’ awareness and knowledge regarding a variety of different frauds and cybercrimes.

Fraud Statistics

There are over five and a half million cyber offences being committed every year, which now accounts for over half of all crime in the UK. This means that nearly 1 in 10 people are now falling victim to fraud and cybercrime - targets mainly being people who use their computer to bank and shop, or, to hold any type of personal information.

Action Fraud UK and Get Safe Online both report that during 2015/16 a staggering £10.9 billion was lost from the UK economy as a result of fraud and cybercrime. They estimated that the average amount of a single fraud to be £523!

In a recent survey of people who had been victims of fraud, 39% of those surveyed admitted that they never reported it. Other similar reports state that this figure could be as low as 10%.

The main reasons given why many fraud victims do not report it:

  1. People may blame themselves and feel embarrassed.

  2. They think that there isn’t anything that can be done to resolve the issue.

  3. Some people choose to report the matter to their bank and credit card companies only, in a bid to gain back the money they lost.

  4. Many people can’t be bothered to go through the process and paperwork of reporting fraud.

  5. They feel that the matter is too trivial to report.

 

About our Fraud Prevention Quiz

Our fraud quiz contained a variety of fairly easy questions designed to test how aware our participants were on a wide range of different frauds, scams and cybercrime.

We firstly asked, how aware of frauds and scams our participants felt they were - 79% answered ‘very’ or ‘fairly’. This probably leads to why 56% of participants said they weren’t worried about falling victim to fraud at all.

However, only 1% of people got every question right.

Diagram of fraud awareness results
Fraud Awareness Results

 

Fraud Prevention Quiz Results

Here are the results we gained on a range of fraud topics;

Email Scams: We asked three questions regarding very popular ‘phishing’ emails to see if people could identify whether they were scams or not.

65% of people could identify a clear email scam to be a £90 parking ticket.

We also gave an example of where a fraudster has pretended to be a friend of yours asking for help - 23% of participants would have fallen for this one.

The third example was a fake discount voucher for a shopping website, encouraging you to click on a malicious link – this proved to be too tempting for 45% of the participants who may have just opened themselves up to a malware attack.

Read more about how to identify a phishing email

Holiday Scam: Another question asked participants to identify a fake holiday advert. These could be in the form of a leaflet or an online advert. Two out of the four options were scams - only 20% of participants identified both, 71% identified one and 9% couldn’t identify either.

Read more about the types of holiday scams

Phishing Call: A lot of fraudsters use cold calling to defraud you- often pretending to be from a company or organisation that you do business with, like for example your bank. This question asked participants to identity which options could be from a legitimate bank and which were a scam - there were two correct answers. 67% of people identified both correctly, 25% identified one and 8% couldn’t identify either.

Online Dating Scam: Online dating scams are an increasing threat to people who use these popular sites. Fraudsters will often take advantage of their victim’s emotions to help them scam money from them. Luckily, 82% correctly identified the scam that we described.

Read more about online dating scams

Rubber Ducky: A ‘rubber ducky’ is a term used to describe a USB stick which has been previously programmed to either steal information from someone’s computer or to download viruses and malware. Only 27% of people were aware of this term - hopefully this doesn’t mean that 73% of people have been sticking mysterious USB sticks, that they’ve found lying around, into their computers!

Identity Theft: This question asked what precautions you could take to protect yourself from identity theft. There were four options and all of them were correct - only 50% of participants identified this, leaving the other 50% open to the potential threat of having their identity stolen.

Secure Passwords: Passwords provide us with the majority of our online security, so it is important to pick one that is hard to crack! We provided four password options to our participants, but unfortunately only 36% of people managed to identify what a secure password is!

Learn how to choose a safe password

Diagram of Fraud Prevention Quiz Results
Fraud Prevention Quiz Results

 

Some people thought this was a scam

We posted our quiz on several of the main social media sites. In doing this, we received many comments (although they were still just the minority of comments, most were very positive) from people claiming that our quiz was a scam itself, and warned people not to do it.

So why would people think this?

If our quiz was a scam, it would have been taken off these major social media sites reasonably quickly. If it had only been up a couple of days then we can understand the caution, but even after a couple of weeks such comments were still being made. 

In addition, our website that hosted the quiz is SSL secure, has a digital certificate for high grade encryption (256-bit), and also has the same Global Sign Extended SSL ‘green bar’ that you will commonly find when banking online. 

This reveals that many people can be ignorant towards the topic and don’t take the time to correctly learn the difference between what is a scam and what in fact isn’t.

 

What is being done to combat fraud and cybercrime?

About 30,000 fraud complaints every month are reported to Action Fraud UK (the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime). Out of these 30,000 cases, only about 6,000 are handed over to the police, as potentially nothing can be resolved for the other 24,000. Similarly, the police then only investigate an average of 60 out of the 6,000 passed to them, for the same reason. This means that only 1 in 500 (0.2%) of complaints are investigated.

Diagram of Cases Reported to Action Fraud
Cases Reported to Action Fraud

In many cases, this is the result of the victims being targeted by fraudsters based in foreign countries. They use sophisticated and well-practiced techniques to fool people into handing over personal information and bank details, normally via email, text message or cold calls.

Many of these foreign-based criminals can operate without the worry of being caught as they are almost impossible to trace and are based in countries where UK authorities have little power.

 

Fear of scams could mean that you are missing out

Online fraud and cybercrime is becoming such a large issue that people are losing out by turning their backs on genuine deals from legitimate businesses. This is due to believing that deals that look too good to be try probably are not!

It is important for businesses to be able to advertise their services and deals, especially with the internet offering them audiences that haven’t been available in the past.

With phishing emails and adverts being sent out by the thousands, it can be very hard to distinguish what is real and what is fake. This leads to a large amount of people assuming that everything is a scam and ignoring it.

Businesses may have to clear old stock before new arrives, so could offer very attractive deals that are not taken purely due to fear that it could be a scam. 

 

An Everyday Problem

You may be lucky and only have your car stolen or house broken into once, or never at all.

Online scams are targeting hundreds of thousands of people every single day. Whilst a lot of people can say they haven’t been defrauded, we doubt that many can say that they haven’t been tempted, or come close to clicking on a fraudster’s link at least once!

Everyone who uses the internet or a phone is a target to cybercriminals and other foreign based fraudsters. Even if you think that you don’t have anything they would want, they don’t target people individually.

To them, it is a numbers game. They send out thousands of phishing emails at a time, using mailing lists that they could have bought from a legitimate data companies. Even if only 1% of the recipients respond or do what they ask, that can still be 100s of victims at a time. Very lucrative, not very time-consuming and unfortunately low risk for the fraudster.

44% of our 14,000 participants admitted that they are worried about falling victim to fraud and cybercrime.

 

Why isn’t this problem going away?

People are becoming more and more reliant on technology every day, loading up their computers with personal and financial details. This means that online fraud and cybercrime is only becoming easier to commit as more personal information is available to get hold of.

Stealing someone’s bank details can be much more profitable than stealing someone’s television, for example.

What the internet also offers is anonymity. People can say they are whoever they want to, or, they can claim they are from whatever company they want.

 

What can you do to avoid becoming a victim of fraud?

A recent report states that 14% of people said that they had been a victim to cybercriminals in the past year. However in reality, 68% of people have been affected in a variety of ways, from phishing emails to having a social media account hacked. This illustrates a worrying gap in people’s knowledge of what constitutes a cybercrime.

Your best defence is to be aware.

The ones who aren’t, are the ones who are affected and at the greatest risk. The more you educate and keep yourself up to date on the latest scams, the more chance you will have of identifying and avoiding them. You can do this simply by looking at our fraud guides, Action Fraud UK, etc.

 

Try our fraud quiz
Try Our Fraud Prevention Quiz

 

Find it useful? Please share!

Subscribe for Updates

We will email you monthly details of our latest:

  • Business and consumer guides
  • Finance news
  • Information and awareness about the latest frauds and scams, to help you avoid them.  
I want to receive email updates

By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice. You can opt out at any time.