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Home > Market Matters  > Cyber awareness month: Online theft of personal funds

In the final week of our cyBEr SECURE series, we explore the most common threats of online theft of personal funds

Theft of personal funds – a common cybercrime in this day and age. In August the BBC reported that tens of thousands of stolen card numbers are traded daily on the underground markets1.

Hackers access personal details from unsecure and compromised website or retailers before using them to scam unsuspecting customers. Money from their accounts is withdrawn and transacted in cash to minimise the trail. Phishing, an act in which individuals are targeted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data2, is a common way people become victims of personal funds theft. As hackers become more tech-savvy, they are experimenting with new creative ways to scam customers.

We asked expert Dr Mark Hawksworth, Global Technology Specialist Practice Group Leader at Sedgwick International UK about the biggest warning signs of online theft of personal funds:

‘As technology evolves the way the public interact has altered. Online banking is one of them, it allows you to monitor your account and pay bills from smart devices whilst on the go. The use of smart devices, however, create issues if not used safely. Today’s criminals are becoming more sophisticated  / smarter and are constantly finding new ways to steal funds whilst avoiding detection. Examples of ways to compromise accounts and steal people’s funds are fake websites, key logger trojans, spam and phishing.

These techniques are some of the most common tactics used by hackers used steal personal details allowing access to accounts or the generation of a report about the victim. These reports can also be sold onto others using dark websites for relatively modest sums. Many criminals do that to generate revenue as the theft of credentials has far less chance of been caught than using the credentials to steal funds directly.’

Chief commercial officer at UK General Insurance, Matthew Schofield, recently found himself duped by hackers who withdrew funds from his personal account. “I’ve always been very careful when transacting online so when my money was stolen I couldn’t believe it. No matter how careful you are hackers have become astute to the online loopholes. They’re becoming smarter by the day. Be careful and stay alert to anything that appears unsecure.”

As the rate of online theft of personal funds continues to increase, UK General offers financial protection as part of our personal cyber protection product. It will reimburse the financial loss occurred from any unauthorised transactions suffered from the theft of an individual’s personal funds by a third party. This may also include the unauthorised online use of payment cards, unauthorised access to online bank accounts and/or unauthorised access to an individual’s online wallet.

If you’re interested to know more about what our online shopping fraud covers, get in touch today. Email or call 0370 421 4503.

Please note the above is marketing material. 

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