GBG Warns of Industrialized Fraud as UK Businesses Face Growing Threat

In a concerning development, GBG, a leading global digital identity expert, is sounding the alarm about the rapid industrialization of fraud in the United Kingdom. According to their recent report, a staggering 40% of UK businesses have reported known or suspected fraud attempts in the past year, highlighting the alarming scale of this issue. Furthermore, on a global scale, nearly half (49%) of businesses that reported fraud attempts stated that such incidents have increased over the past year.

The findings of the report shed light on the rising concerns among smartphone owners regarding the security of their personal information. A striking 63% of smartphone owners in the UK expressed worries that their sensitive data might be available for sale to criminals on the internet. Additionally, an overwhelming 88% of smartphone owners fear becoming victims of fraud in the future, reflecting a growing sense of vulnerability among the general population. Notably, over half of respondents expressed heightened concerns due to the prevailing cost-of-living crisis.

Disturbingly, the report also reveals that many victims of fraud fail to report the incidents. Less than half (47%) of those affected took the step of reporting the fraud, while more than a quarter (26%) opted to close their accounts. Only 23% demanded compensation, and a mere 3% of victims refrained from taking any action after their unfortunate experiences.

Highlighting a potential solution to combat fraud, the report indicates strong support for the use of biometrics among the surveyed individuals. A remarkable 91% of respondents believe that incorporating biometrics such as fingerprints, facial recognition, or voice recognition is the most secure method of enhancing the security of online accounts. However, despite this vote of confidence, a mere 28% of UK businesses currently employ biometric checks, suggesting that the implementation of such measures has yet to gain widespread adoption.

Gus Tomlinson, Chief Product Officer Identity and Fraud at GBG, emphasizes the urgency of addressing the escalating fraud landscape. He notes, “The UK is witnessing a rapid industrialization of fraud and far too many individuals and businesses are having to deal with the absolutely devastating impact of unscrupulous fraudsters exploiting any vulnerability they find.” Tomlinson underscores the importance of layered defenses against fraud, combining biometric technology with other visible and non-visible fraud prevention measures. He highlights the reassuring role that biometric technology plays in enhancing security and instilling confidence among individuals and businesses.

One emerging form of fraud that demands attention is synthetic fraud. This rapidly growing type of fraud involves fraudsters combining genuine, typically stolen, identity information with fabricated details to create new identities. These synthetic identities are then used to unlawfully obtain goods and services by posing as genuine customers. As per the report, almost a quarter of UK businesses consider synthetic fraud to be the most significant fraud risk they will face in the next three years.

Tomlinson concludes by emphasizing the need for businesses to prioritize security and build trust among customers. He suggests that by implementing robust identity verification measures, businesses can not only protect themselves but also gain a competitive advantage. Customers are increasingly seeking evidence of strong identity protection and anti-fraud measures, often favoring security over speed when engaging with new accounts. It is crucial for businesses to adapt and leverage identity verification technologies to safeguard their operations and establish trust in an era of escalating fraud threats.

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