New research reveals that almost one third of consumers are exposed to fraud due to uncertainty over what constitutes “secure” channels for sharing their bank details.
In an online survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Equifax, 30% of people expressed uncertainty
for when it’s safe to disclose personal banking details, with more than a fifth (22%) of respondents considering their personal or work email a secure place to share their financial information. Over a fifth (22%) would share their bank/credit card account PIN with a friend or family member, bank representative, when requested by an online store or when prompted by an email from their bank.
Almost half (44%) of consumers believe their bank or card provider would reimburse them if they were tricked into giving out personal bank details which were subsequently used for fraud. However, banks do not guarantee compensation if fraudsters access personal information because of perceived negligent behaviour on the part of the customer.
John Marsden, Fraud and Identity expert at Equifax says: “There is a significant knowledge gap amongst consumers in terms of identifying safe places to share confidential information such as your bank account number, sort code and even date of birth. As consumers seek the convenience and speed offered by digital correspondence, they expose themselves to fraudsters who are discovering new ways to obtain information and use it to financially exploit individuals.
“Consumers are particularly unaware of the value of basic personal details to fraudsters; a name, address and date of birth is enough for a fraudster to steal an identity and apply for a loan or credit card. In situations where consumers are looking at the prospects of rewards, security measures around this information, and what fraudsters can do with it, are considered even less. While only 17% would disclose their date of birth and 8% their address on social media, 42% of respondents would share their date of birth and 65% their address when registering for a loyalty scheme.
“More needs to be done to educate the population to give them a stronger chance of protecting themselves from the growing threat of fraudulent activity. The advice is very clear, remain vigilant and only share your details when you are sure the channel is secure.”