Barclays launches £10 million digital fraud awareness campaign

Barclays customers will be able to turn off remote spending on their cards and change their ATM limits from their smartphones as part of a £10 million move to crack down on digital fraud.

The bank says that a quarter of UK consumers have fallen victim to online fraud in the last three years, with 18 per cent being hit more than once by cyber scammers.

It called London, Bristol and Birmingham “the scam capitals of the UK”, with highly-educated Londoners aged between 25 and 34 the most vulnerable group.

17 per cent of victims take no action to improve their digital defences as a result of the incidents, and only 17 per cent of consumers can correctly identify fraudulent messages.

Now Barclays is introducing new security measures along with a £10 million campaign to help boost its UK customers’ awareness of digital fraud and cyber security risks.

Consumers who bank with Barclays can now manage their remote spending settings and ATM withdrawal limits from its mobile app, giving them greater control if their cards are lost or stolen.

The bank has launched an online quiz alongside the awareness campaign, which aims to test customers’ cyber-savviness and help them to learn about best practices.

It has also promised to prioritise fraud awareness takeovers on its websites and provide advice and workshops to both personal customers and SMEs.

“Fraud is often wrongly described as an invisible crime, but the effects are no less damaging to people’s lives,” said Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays UK.

“As a society, our confidence in using digital technology to shop, pay our bills and connect with others has grown faster than our knowledge of how to do so safely.

“This has created a digital safety gap which is being exploited by criminals.

“I believe the need to fight fraud has now become a national resilience issue, and we all need to boost our digital safety levels in order to close the gap.

“That is why we are launching this new national campaign on digital safety, and we will do all in our power to arm people with the tools and information they need.

“But we also need to support and encourage the public to take action to protect themselves, such as changing passwords regularly. They can take the first step by completing our new free online quiz and discover how to boost their defences.

“I want to help make digital safety as commonplace as locking your front door. I want businesses, the police and the public to unite and stand shoulder to shoulder together so that we can block and frustrate the bad guys at every turn.”

For more on the campaign, see the Barclays website.

Photo © Sebastien Wiertz (CC BY 2.0). Cropped.