Fraud - How Safe Is Your Money?: Tonight

Fraud - How Safe Is Your Money?: Tonight, 7.30pm on ITV Credit: ITV / Tonight

IF you ask dad-of- two Shaz Nawaz, he’ll tell you there are much easier ways to steal your money than robbing a bank nowadays … with less likelihood of getting caught.

He had £10,000 stolen from his bank account in 2013 but despite appealing to his bank, the Banking Ombudsman and the Police, he never got his money back - nor the crime investigated.

Britain is increasingly becoming a cashless society as more people go online and use bank cards and mobile phones for moving cash around.

But while many of us enjoy the convenience - fraudsters are finding ever more opportunities to scam us out of our hard-earned money.

For example, more than 80 million debit and credit cards cards are now enabled with contactless technology.

Tonight reporter Jonathan Maitland sees how easily fraudsters can steal card details Credit: ITV / Tonight

But that comes with a risk as Tonight reporter Jonny Maitland found out when he had his credit card details stolen by digital pickpocket Nick Walker.

Fortunately Nick is a security expert with MWR InfoSecurity, who has developed an app that can read details off your contactless card without it ever leaving your wallet.

Nick then demonstrates how he can use the stolen information to potentially max out Jonathan’s credit card online. The TV experiment showed how sophisticated fraud is becoming.

Professor Ross Anderson Credit: ITV / Tonight

Paul and Linda Hirst know that to their cost. They were having problems with their broadband connection so they weren’t surprised when they got a call, on their ex-directory number, from a man claiming to be from their internet provider.

The fraudsters managed to steal £5,000 from the couple.

Paul and Linda Hirst - victims to the tune of £5,000 Credit: ITV / Tonight

Richard Headland, editor of Which? Magazine warns that the banks won’t always offer a refund. The Hirsts haven’t received one.

Richard Headland, Which? Magazine Credit: ITV / Tonight

Critics say that online fraudsters are quite likely to get away with it, but Commander Chris Greany, National Police Co-ordinator for Economic Crime, takes issue with reports that only one in a hundred online frauds lead to prosecution.

The stakes are high. Fraud losses to the banks on UK credit and debit cards totalled well £567m last year - an 18% increase on the previous year. Card issuers reckon a further £1.75 billion of fraud was prevented by their security systems.

But while the banks may be using sophisticated analysis to help outwit the fraudsters, Dr. Moody of security firm ThreatMetrix shows the programme that stolen card details are cheaply available online.

Stephen Moody demonstrates the ease of buying stolen card details online Credit: ITV / Tonight

Back to Shaz Nawaz who was saving up for a dream family holiday to Disneyland, Florida when he was hit by online fraudsters.

He informed his bank, but was told that though his case was genuine, he had been negligent because his pin number, card reader and his computer’s IP address had all been used to authorise the stolen money.

It’s something Shaz hotly disputes: “I had never given my card reader my card or my pin to somebody else and I most definitely hadn’t made the transfer. There is no way whatsoever that I had compromised security.”

Shaz is still fighting for a refund.

Fraud - How Safe Is Your Money? is on ITV at 7.30pm

Quick tips:

  • Don’t be frightened by these fraudsters.

  • Be sceptical when anyone contacts you online or by phone from any organisation.

  • Never give your personal or bank details to someone who contacts you out of the blue.

For more information and advice:

Which - Protect Yourself From Financial Scams

Action Fraud - how to avoid scams

MWR Info Security advice