May 18, 2020updated 20 May 2020 1:41pm

Marqeta: Fraudsters are “thriving” during Covid-19 pandemic

By Ellen Daniel

Over 40% of people have fallen victim to financial fraud, with the Covid-19 pandemic putting consumers at greater risk.

This is according to card-issuing platform Marqeta, which surveyed over 4,000 UK and US consumers on their attitudes and experiences of financial fraud for its 2020 Fraud report, and found that 42% had been victims of fraud, with one in five hit in the last twelve months.

96% of UK respondents said they were concerned about fraud, but 42% accept that it is an unavoidable part of the digital economy, with 29% seeing it as a “fair trade-off” for convenience.

Despite this, 52% said that they could try harder to protect their financial information, and 14% regularly lose their card. However, 83% believe their bank is proactive in alerting them of potential financial fraud.

The threat of scams has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, with scammers taking advantage of worry, uncertainty and a shortage of certain goods.

Covid-19 sees financial fraud rise as consumers move online

According to a report by TransUnion, e-commerce rose by 23% after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic. With more consumers relying on the digital economy than ever, Covid-19 related scams are a significant threat, with the Federal Trade Commission reporting that February 2020 was their busiest February so far for complaints.

Furthermore, 160,000 Covid-19 scam emails were reported to GCHQ in the two weeks after it launched its suspicious email reporting service.

“We are living in very unusual times, with most of the country under state-imposed lockdown to some degree. Against this backdrop, fraudsters are unfortunately thriving, and we have seen numerous warnings and scams being conducted by people who want to take advantage of the situation. So people need to be on guard even more than ever,” said Ian Johnson, managing director for Europe, Marqeta.

“Yet this research shows that, while many people are taking steps to protect themselves, there is still a significant portion that are not. This may be because they have become resigned to the inevitability of fraud, but it may also be because they are often insulated from the consequences – as the survey also showed that 92% of people who had been defrauded had been able to get fraudulent transactions removed from their account. This means the banks are often carrying the financial burden of fraud.”


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