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According to a new report , released recently from Financial Fraud UK, the overall scale of financial fraud in 2016 was £768.8million, up from the £755million lost in 2015.

Consumers lost the money through payment card and cheque fraud, as well as remote banking fraud, which covers internet banking, telephone banking and mobile banking. The data, from the banking industry body Financial Fraud Action UK, shows that banks and financial firms are still failing to combat the growing threat of fraud in Britain. It means almost three quarters of people (74 per cent) are worried about falling victim to financial fraud, while more than six in ten (68 per cent) expressed the same concern about their families.

Lisa Baergen, director at fraud mitigation company, NuData Security, said: “These enormous fraud losses are astounding, and their magnitude can’t help but have a dampening effect on the UK economy. It’s also bad news for consumers, who often bear the brunt of the costs of fraud, especially in account takeover and new account fraud cases. It’s no wonder that consumers are pushing back on institutions and companies to improve security, holding them accountable, yet still wanting to have a good experience going through the gates.

Financial fraud offers a lucrative source of income for cybercriminals, with 3.6 million fraud incidents last year. With such a tempting promise of high reward and low prosecution rates, emboldened cybercriminals have grown in their sophistication, exploiting the human-interest factor by posing as banks or suppliers and then duping consumers into revealing their personal details. These scams have also proved effective in targeting commercial organisations, as senior executives have been tricked into revealing sensitive information enabling the hackers access to a company network.

The increasing volume of attacks globally has also been attributed to more fraudsters willing to commit the crime, more data available on the black market, and more financial institutions and merchants vulnerable to attacks. Plus, as more countries fully adopt EMV, fraudsters have switched their focus to online environments, and as a result, fraud continues its migratory path to all available online channels.

To detect out-of-character and potentially fraudulent transactions, before they can create a financial nightmare for consumers, we must adopt new authentication methods that can’t be deceived. Solutions that draw from consumer behaviour and interactional signals are leading the way to provide more safety for consumers without friction, and less fraud in the marketplace.

To combat these types of attacks, consumers should always report dubious emails to their banking providers. No legitimate organisation will ask for security or banking details, so consumers need to be suspicious of any emails that request this information.

Meanwhile, there are steps that consumers can take to help secure themselves:

Shop with well-known companies online, or use safer payment systems such as PayPal, Apple Pay, or Android Pay, to avoid providing your payment details directly to an unknown merchant.

Use a strong, unique password at every site and make sure to change your passwords regularly.

Don't use public computers or free, unencrypted Wi-Fi to conduct financial or retail transactions or interactions.

 Don't fall victim to email and phone scams, where a consumer receives a call from "their bank" asking for personal, or financial account information. If it looks too good to be true, it most likely is. When in doubt, call the bank directly, using the number printed on the back of your card, or in a recent statement.