Soaring phishing fraud cost victims £174m last year in the UK alone.
Phishing, a kind of fraud wherein criminals pose as a legitimate source to gain access to personal data, has increased by 21 per cent in just a year, according to fresh crime statistics from the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and non-profit organisation Get Safe Online.
Both firms and individuals are increasingly getting targeted by online fraud attacks, and the financial industry is one of the worst hit.
With cyber attacks doubling last year, reports have suggested that attacks cost global business over £200bn in 2014.
Individuals’ data is also increasingly valuable to cyber crooks, with a report finding that stolen credit card details are worth up to $45.
Commander Chris Greany of the City of London Police said: “Fraudsters are using ever more sophisticated methods to gain personal information and these types of attempts have often left victims penniless.”
Greany urged everyone who receives unsolicited phone calls, texts, emails or letters to “ignore them and never enter into conversation with someone that you don’t know online or over the phone”.