One in ten people have been the victim of a cyber-attack on their credit or debit card in the last year, according to new research from comparethemarket.com. In 62% of cases, money was successfully removed from the account with an average of £475 stolen. At a national level this equates to 4.5 million credit or debit cards cancelled in the last twelve months with more than £2.1 billion stolen in total*.
Of those unlucky enough to have been defrauded in the last year, nearly a third (31%) said the hack occurred when making a payment online, while one in ten (10%) had their card duplicated at an ATM and a small proportion (8%) had even been hacked when making a contactless payment.
According to recent reports, e-commerce card fraud has reached an estimated £109.9 million**, but despite the high cost of cyber-attacks, some are still not taking the small steps necessary to protect their money online. In a survey of over 2,000 people commissioned by comparethemarket.com, a quarter (25%) admitted to using the same PIN number and password for all their cards and online accounts. When asked why they did this, over half (53%) said that it was for ease of use while 42% did not want to have to remember more than one number.
The research also reveals that, for many, ‘getting hacked’ acts as a wakeup call. Of those who had been hacked in the last year, 41% of people said they were considering changing or had changed their bank or credit card provider. Nearly half (49%) said they now check their bank accounts more regularly, a third (33%) never give bank details over the phone and 29% admit to paying for more items with cash and making online transactions less frequently.
It is reassuring that customer service and fraud departments appear to be acting decisively in response to cybercrime. Of those polled, almost nine out of ten (89%) said they were satisfied with the way their bank or credit card company handled the attack, with over two thirds (68%) stating they were very satisfied. The majority (71%) said that their bank or credit card provider had been the one to alert them to the security breach, with a third (33%) contacted within 24 hours of the hack occurring.
Jody Baker, head of money at comparethemarket.com, said:
“We’re constantly being warned of the dangers of cyber-attacks but it is still a shock if it happens to you. Most of the transactions we make now are digital and our research suggests that over a quarter of people carry as little as £10 in cash. With so many of us shopping and banking on the internet, combined with a rise in contactless payments, it is more important than ever to be vigilant when managing your money. It is a good idea to regularly check your bank statements for any unusual activity as criminals often make small but regular thefts which are harder to spot than larger one-off purchases.”