The act of stealing is nothing new. Companies have the perpetual issue of dealing with financial losses as a result of being cheated. Unsavory characters have pushed the boundaries of creativity to either gain unlawfully or wriggle their ways out of having to part with their funds. The online age has only served to exacerbate the problem, but some industries rise above the rest when falling victim to scammers. Let’s take a look at who the unending targets are, and why they seem to attract the vultures.
The day of thieves stealing cheques out of mailboxes is a thing of the past. Online banking has opened the door for more technical criminals who have capitalized on the digital age. A report showed that in the first half of 2018 bank account holders in the UK were defrauded of over £500 million. Among the scams were people being tricked into making advanced payments for products or services that were bogus.
Account holders are also prone to be redirected to false banking pages when attempting to log in to accounts, where they are asked to re-submit details only to be supplying criminals with their private passwords. There are occasions when we rely on the bank to keep us safe, but account holders need to remain suspicious of any request for banking details. As long as people continue to part with these details to unknown fronts, fraud will continue to be an issue in the online banking sector.
The Gambling Industry
The gambling industry’s woes have been well documented in popular culture. We’ve all seen movies where casino patrons perfect the art of cheating, although the story often ends badly for the sorry tricksters. Fixing sports matches is also abundant in various countries for sports bettors looking for an easy payday. However, the online gambling industry has now also become a target.
“Money laundering has become one of the biggest issues facing online casinos today,” says David Winter, Head of SEO at PartyCasino. “Our site is required to hold money laundering awareness sessions for all employees, no matter which area of the business they perform their duties in.”
“It is our responsibility to detect all suspected cases of money laundering” he continued. “PartyCasino houses a risk and fraud team dedicated to examining suspected cases and ensure that our operation isn’t party to any money laundering.”
Online casino accounts are perfect ways for criminals to launder money. Money is deposited into the account, the criminal plays a minuscule amount of money through the system, and withdrawals the funds. By doing this, the perpetrator looks like he/she won a considerable sum of money from the unknowing establishment.
Retailers will forever have a major problem on their hands, and with consumer protection laws becoming more prevalent, it only opens the industry up to further fraud action. Retail fraud experienced a massive leap in fraud statistics in 2018 according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW). In 2018 there were 932 000 cases of retail fraud recorded in the UK compared to 727 000 the previous year. This was a startling 27% rise in one year. Many consumers will buy a product which they damage soon after purchase and return it to the store under the pretense that it was a defected product. Retailers will also offer discounts to various demographics, which means there are those who claim discounts they are ineligible for. Staff also find ways to cash in on their workplaces through dubious methods, such as cash register fraud. Retailers are a massive target, while those with large product offerings will always struggle to identify the source of the fraud.
The figures surrounding the insurance industry and fraud raise eyebrows. The Insurance Fraud Bureau released a report that claims over £300 million per year is being claimed in a crash for cash for cash scams. The Association of British Insurers puts total insurance fraud in the UK at over £1 billion per year, while there is over £2 billion in fraud that is never detected. Many of us are acquainted with someone who has defrauded an insurance company. It is highly common to hear of people adding stolen items to a car break-in that were never in the car. Or items that were removed from a burgled house that never existed. The irony in this situation is that people are inclined to complain about their insurance premiums, but by defrauding the insurance companies they are contributing to price hikes due to the losses these companies bleed through fraud.