In October 2015, TalkTalk suffered a “significant and sustained cyber-attack” that resulted in up to four million customers having their personal data stolen—including bank account numbers, sort codes and credit card details. It remains one of the worst cyber-attacks suffered by a British telecommunications company in recent history.
However, it appears fraudsters have struck again.
This time, TalkTalk customers in the UK have been targeted by an industrial-scale fraud network in India. Reports suggest that more than 60 employees working in a call centre in Asia posed as TalkTalk employees to convince customers to download and install a virus onto their computer.
Once installed, a separate team of fraudsters would use the malware to gain access to victim’s online banking. Whilst the scale of the fraud is unknown, there are reports of some customers losing as much as £10,000.
The latest Annual Fraud Indicator report has estimated that the actual cost of fraud to the UK economy is £193 billion per year—much higher than previous figures of £50 billion suggested.
As Professor Mark Button, Director of the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies highlights: “Fraud in the UK is unrelenting and indiscriminate with many organisations estimated to be losing around five per cent of their annual revenue to fraud. The state infrastructure has a modest impact on fraud and means it is largely down to industry, business and commerce to take steps to protect themselves.”
With the report indicating that cyber-crime is expected to rise, it is evident that more needs to be done to tackle the scale of fraud—especially in the UK’s telecommunications industry.
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