New Interactive Slider Reveals the Damaging Daily Cost of UK Fraud

Fraud comes in many forms, but nowadays, the majority stems from criminal activity online and there is the likelihood that we all know someone who has been a victim of fraud. 

To raise awareness of the severity of the daily cost of Fraud in the UK, Skurio, has released an interactive slider to unveil the cost of fraud against popular consumer items and how many of these items could have been purchased had it not been for fraudsters.

What is the Daily Approximate Cost of UK Fraud?  

No matter how much is being lost to cybercriminals, it is always too much. No one should lose their hard-earned money to people scamming online or otherwise. The daily total loss to fraud in the UK alone equals roughly £375,342,465 and over the course of a year that equates to £137, 000,000,000! 

Let’s put this into perspective, in a single day, fraud victims could have purchased almost 75,068 round the world flight tickets. From an entertainment industry point of view, after 7 days, a regular cinema visitor could have purchased 389,244,038 cinema tickets or someone could have purchased 438,630,594 Netflix monthly subscriptions! 

How Are Cyber Criminals Taking Our Money?

Technology can be both a blessing and a curse. It allows us to connect at record speeds and have access to endless information, entertainment and shopping within seconds. However, it also means that criminals can get access to our data at the same speed, providing they are sneaky enough.

Most online fraudulent activity is very juvenile in execution but can have a huge impact on unsuspecting victims. One of the most common forms of fraud is typosquatting. This is when a fraudster registers a very similar domain to a legitimate brand and recreates the official site to dupe visitors into parting with sensitive data, typically payment details, without any intention to provide goods or services.

These domains are so convincing that even the most tech-savvy user can fall victim to these crimes. Users typically end up on these domains by accidentally creating a typo in their search, hence the term typosquatting. For example, a user could be wanting ‘amazon.com’ and type ‘amazen.com’ which could be domain fraudsters have purchased and created a very convincing copycat of the real thing.

Another target is smishing. Sending fake SMS messages to phone numbers in bulk in the hopes that a percentage will believe them to be true. These messages try to disguise themselves as service providers. Anything from banks, couriers, and mobile phone providers to HMRC and most recently, COVID related services, such as Track and Trace and vaccination centres. These text messages ask the user to click on a link that takes them to these copycat websites and part with sensitive data or download malware onto the device.

What Is Being Done to Prevent This?

As a whole from the government, very little is being done. While there are schemes to raise awareness, the latest pledge from the government when it comes to cybersecurity had very little when it comes to typosquatting and data leaked onto the dark web.

That’s why brands have to create solutions themselves. It isn’t just the public who suffer from fraud but businesses’ reputations are on the line. Even though these brands aren’t technically doing anything wrong, if their customers are consistently targeted by cybercriminals, the public can quickly become reluctant to buy their products or use their services in fear they may be scammed. 

While dark web monitoring solutions come at a cost, it is necessary for every business with an online platform to take these precautions to protect customers and reputation. A dark web monitoring service can be the difference between ‘make or break’ should the worst happen. Monitoring the dark web can be a full-time role, so many enlist the services of a third-party provider to do this.

Domain monitoring tools are increasingly popular, these can be automated or manual. They detect any domain that is similar to the legitimate domain that has been registered and can make reports to the proper authorities before damage can be done.

While prevention of typosquatting is the best practice, it isn’t always cost-effective. Larger brands can afford to register all possible domains themselves before criminals get their hands on them, smaller businesses can struggle to do so. Therefore, automated domain monitoring is often the best course of action.

It’s an unfortunate fact that fraud is unlikely to ever be eradicated. However, the harder it is for fraudsters to achieve the results they want, the less likely they are to pursue these crimes. While victims of fraud are often able to claim back their cash from insurance providers or credit card companies, these criminals still make off with millions of ill-gotten gains every year.

In turn, it’s the public who suffers. As businesses have to put rates up to cover insurance costs or money lost in fraud, the price of everyday items will increase. By preventing fraud as much as possible, the whole of the UK will benefit in some form. 

Adam Hansen