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How do criminals steal money from bank accounts?

The methods used by criminals to compromise bank accounts have improved in sophistication and scope, affecting 1 in 5 British people as cyber criminals steal £2 million every day. The price of digital convenience, such as internet banking, means that the attack surface that fraudsters can exploit has also grown. Therefore consumers and organisations alike must educate themselves on how to protect their financial data, and how to react properly when incidents take place.

5 common ways financial data can be stolen


Some types of malicious software, including viruses and trojans, can break a system and perform various actions, such as deleting sensitive data, modifying system settings, or tracking user's activities. Unfortunately, some apps incorporate trojans that are released once the app is downloaded. This malware can swap the official banking app with a fake one capturing sensitive information when the victim enters their card details. According to RSA Fraud and Intelligence’s report, the number of fraud attacks originating from fake apps almost trebled in 2019. Hence, it is imperative to check the reviews of the app and read the terms and conditions before allowing it access to your data.

Data breaches

Over 4 billion records were compromised in the first six months of 2019 alone. If your financial data was exposed during a security incident, criminals will attempt to use it to access your funds. According to a recent study made by Gallagher, in 2018, there were 1.4 million UK SMEs involved in significant cybersecurity incidents, costing them a total of £8.8bn. The insurance and risk management organisation also highlighted that around 57,000 UK SMEs could collapse in 2019 as they do not have a crisis strategy in the event of a severe cybersecurity incident.


Banking institutions are the most impersonated businesses by criminals in phishing scams. It is important that you do not reveal any financial data before you investigate the validity of a banking communication. Scammers use spoofed logos and email addresses that are highly convincing and difficult to detect as fake. They may also create a sense of urgency to deceive victims into revealing their credit card information, such as warning customers that suspicious activity has been detected. Some of the scams also include malicious links that imitate legitimate websites. It is advisable that you verify if the URLs match before you click any suspicious links. 

Insecure networks

Routers used in large venues, such as airports, typically present vulnerabilities that can allow cyber criminals to access credit card details or passwords. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid connecting your devices to insecure networks.

SIM swap

Since many institutions, including Banks, verify your identity through your mobile phone, fraudsters will try to intercept it and gain access to your accounts. Criminals are able to transfer your mobile number to their phone which helps them to bypass 2FA security measures. If your phone stops working or you cannot send or receive text messages, contact your carrier immediately to report phone takeover fraud using an alternative method such as online chat or calling from a different device.


What consumers can do to protect their account

There are a wide range of tools and services available to consumers to help protect their financial data.

Cyber insurance
Cyber insurance is fast becoming a staple monthly expense for UK households, with more and more insurers offering policies. Cyber insurances provide comprehensive protection for businesses and consumers against financial fraud.

We work with a number of insurers to provide an extra layer of protection for end users, such as our Cyber Security Score. Like a credit score, it helps consumers to understand exactly how at risk they are of being targeted by cyber criminals, and we also provide relevant education on the latest threats. With more education, consumers are less likely to engage with fraudulent attempts to compromise their accounts, thus mitigating risk for insurers.


Antivirus is important as it may intercept malicious downloads in instances where a consumer has misinterpreted a fake communication.

Our solutions

Consumers require more than antivirus to stay safe from current threats and by combining DynaRisk’s tools with insurance products and antivirus services, they can secure their digital footprint.


Get in touch to discuss ways you can work with DynaRisk; from home protection plans to data breach reporting services, we have a range of products that increase leads and cyber insurance policy sales.