New figures show wave of cyber threats and growing violence against retail staff
The British Retail Consortium’s Retail Crime Survey has revealed a new frontier of retail crime driven by cyber-enabled incidents.
The survey found that 53% of retail fraud is now cyber-enabled. It also shows there has been a 40% increase in violence and other forms of abuse against retail workers in the past year.
Examples of cyber-enabled crimes being committed include phishing, theft of consumer data, doxing and social engineering, as well as a range of other elaborate scams.
According to the BRC, the overall number of retail crimes committed has risen to 3.6 million, with the direct financial cost of crime to the retail industry reaching £660 million in 2015-16.
The report also reveals retailers’ growing concerns that existing deterrence is not effective enough.
Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said “These figures reflect a deeply concerning trend. Attacks on retail workers are intolerable, as are attempts to defraud customers. A significant aspect of the cyber security challenge for retailers is the attractiveness of customer data from the point of view of criminals, many of whom operate outside UK borders but can nevertheless gain relatively easy access to UK digital networks.
“Retailers are doing everything possible to ensure that staff members and customers are safe and protected. But this rising tide should be stemmed through even stronger cooperation between industry, the government, law enforcement and the private security industry. There is work to do to further improve collaboration between the UK retail industry and its partners, and raise standards of security and policing of these threats across the country.”
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