Friday, January 28, 2022

E-crime losses total £204.5m in a year

E-crime is the greatest emerging threat to retail and cost the sector £204.5 million in twelve months, according to a new study.

The British Retail Consortium‘s (BRC) first e-crime study, published today, reveals that e-crime is twice as costly as overall retail crime, representing 0.75 per cent of the £28 billion of online retail sales last year.

Personal identification-related frauds are the most costly of e-crimes, losing the sector a total of £20 million in 2011-12, with card fraud causing losses of £15 million over the same period.

Government intervention is required to resolve this growing problem, the BRC believes and its Director General Stephen Robertson added: “This first comprehensive survey assessing the make-up and scale of e-crime shows where efforts need to be directed.

“Online retailing has the potential for huge future commercial expansion but Government and police need to take e-crime more seriously if the sector is to maximise its contribution to national economic growth.”

While measures are expected to be put in place to deter online thieves and fraudsters, the BRC pointed out that retailers also reported losses of £111.6 million in e-crime due to laborious crime-prevention steps.

Genuine customers may be put off from completing an online purchase as a result of additional online security measures.

Despite this myriad of potential problems, many retailers are unwilling to report e-crime as a result of lack of confidence in a suitable response from law enforcement, with 60 per cent of those questioned by the BRC admitting they were unlikely to report any more than ten per cent of e-crimes to the police.

“Retailers are investing significantly to protect customers and reduce the costs of e-crime but law makers and enforcers need to show a similarly strong commitment,” Robertson warned.

“Law enforcement and the Government need to work with us to develop a consistent, centralised method for reporting and investigating e-crime and resources must be directed to e-crime in line with the emerging threat.

“This will encourage retailers to report more offences and allow the police to better identify and combat new threats.”


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