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PRESS RELEASE

Majority of Public Expect Banks to Pay Out for Rising Scam Attempts

  • More than half (58%) of the British public reported receiving scam attempts at least once per week
  • Most (67%) expect their bank to foot the bill for successful scams, regardless of the total amount lost
  • 51% say they would switch banks if they were not reimbursed after falling victim to fraud
United Kingdom - London | December 14, 2021

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Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the world’s most trusted solution to power and protect digital experiences, today announces the results of new research showing the scale of cyber fraud in the UK, and where the public is looking for protection.

Nearly four in five UK adults surveyed (78%) use online banking services at least once per week, and over half (58%) of those who bank online reported receiving scam attempts via email or SMS text message at least once per week. This is translating to successful cyberattacks: 23% of respondents said they had been a victim of a cyberattack.

Despite nearly a quarter having fallen victim to cyberattacks, the majority report already practicing cybersecurity fundamentals, with 59% of UK respondents reporting they do not use the same password for any online services. By contrast, a 2019 global survey from LastPass saw 66% of respondents reporting they used the same password or a similar variation, suggesting a significant shift in awareness of the risks of password sharing. The vast majority (86%) are also confident in their banks’ ability to protect them from cybercriminals. However, if they do fall victim to cyberattack or financial fraud, most (67%) would expect their bank to foot the bill in its entirety, no matter how much money was lost. 17% would also expect additional financial compensation for the inconvenience and 18% would want a personal apology.

A recent Which? study found that bank transfer scammers steal on average around £700,000 per day - equating to £491 per minute. Meanwhile the FCA’s Consumer Duty proposals are putting increasing pressure on financial institutions to reimburse customers at a higher rate than they currently are (46% on average).

The research highlighted the high expectations of consumers in several areas and their propensity to switch banks if they feel these are not being met:

  • Banks risk losing customers over poor response to cyberattacks. Over half (51%) of UK adults surveyed said they would switch financial providers if they fell victim to a cyberattack or fraud attempt and were not reimbursed.
  • With even more of us banking online, support with using online services is important. Of those polled, 43% said difficulty using a bank’s online services would make them switch providers.
  • Unethical banking practices are climbing up the agenda. A third of respondents (29%) said they would switch banks if their current provider was making unethical investments such as fossil fuels or military equipment.

According to Akamai’s latest State of the Internet report on the financial services sector, the company saw 193 billion credential stuffing attacks globally in 2020, with 3.4 billion hitting financial services organisations specifically — a sector increase of more than 45% year-over-year.

Akamai also observed nearly 6.3 billion web application attacks in 2020, with more than 736 million targeting financial services — which represents an increase of 62% from 2019.

Over the past three years (2018-2020), Akamai has seen DDoS attacks against the financial services sector grow by 93%, indicating that systemic disruption remains an objective for criminals, who target services and applications required for daily business.

“This research confirms what far too many of us already know: there’s a serious fraud and cybercrime problem in the banking and financial services industry,” said Richard Meeus, Director of Security Technology and Strategy EMEA at Akamai. 

“While 98% of respondents use some kind of security measures to protect and access their online banking, not all services are created equal. Only 19% use a dedicated multi-factor authentication app which is concerning as this is one of the most robust forms of protection out there and is one of the lowest used.

“Rising rates of cybercrime mean rising costs for banks as they reimburse their customers en masse. Banks need to work with governments and industry to share effective strategies, educate the public on important preventative measures, and implement security models that ensure maximum protection - and retain customers."

Methodology

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,417 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25th-26th October 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

About Akamai

Akamai powers and protects life online. Leading companies worldwide choose Akamai to build, deliver, and secure their digital experiences — helping billions of people live, work, and play every day. With the world’s most distributed compute platform — from cloud to edge — we make it easy for customers to develop and run applications, while we keep experiences closer to users and threats farther away. Learn more about Akamai’s security, compute, and delivery solutions at akamai.com and akamai.com/blog, or follow Akamai Technologies on Twitter and LinkedIn.