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    Fraud Victims Lose £9.3bn in Well-Being per Year

    Fraud victims suffer well-being costs of £9.3bn per year, according to a new study by Which?

    The consumer group made the calculation after conducting an analysis of the psychological harms experienced by people who lose money to scammers. The research conducted with consultancy firm Simetrica found that scam victims have a lower life satisfaction on average than the general population. This includes higher levels of anxiety, lower levels of happiness and to a lesser extent, worse general health.

    To make their findings, the researchers analyzed over 17,000 responses to a survey by the Office for National Statistics’ Crime Survey for England and Wales, which asked respondents about the impact on well-being of being scammed.

    They applied these results to a social impacts model approved by the UK government earlier this year. This model translates well-being changes into monetary terms.

    Which? then calculated that the average drop in well-being for fraud victims equates to £2509 per year. The value is even higher for online fraud, at £3684. These figures are significantly higher than the average financial fraud losses, estimated by Which? to be around £600 per incident.

    By applying these calculations to the 3.7 million fraud incidents in 2019/20, the researchers concluded that the overall well-being loss associated with fraud is £9.3bn.

    Interestingly, online fraud alone was associated with well-being losses of £7.2bn, highlighting how scammers have increasingly targeted digital consumers in recent years, particularly amid the digital shift since COVID-19.

    In July, an analysis by money.co.uk found that Brits lost £1.8bn to fraud and cybercrime from January to September 2021.

    Which? is now calling on the UK government to include scam adverts in its Online Safety Bill, announced earlier this year.

    Rocio Concha, director of policy and advocacy at Which?, outlined: “Our research shows that scam victims suffer a significant drop in well-being when they are targeted by criminals. This brings home the scale of the emotional and psychological harm that victims suffer when they are defrauded.

    “The government must not ignore the huge impact an epidemic of fraud is having on our society. Scam adverts must be included in the Online Safety Bill and ministers must set out plans for laws and regulations that will make online platforms use their highly sophisticated technology to effectively tackle harmful content on their sites.”

    This is why it’s so important to put Security Awareness Training in place to ensure that every part of your network – including the user themselves – plays a role in stopping these scam cyber attacks, well before the damage is done to your systems and your employees well-being

    With thanks to the Cyber Defence Alliance and InfoSecurity magazine. The full story is here: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/fraud-victims-lose-well-being/

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