Barclays spends £10m to tackle the 'digital safety gap'

The bank aims to educate the public about digital fraud

Barclays is spending 10 million on a nationwide digital safety drive to increase public awareness of financial fraud risks. The bank wants to help their customers stay safe online, and will provide information, tools and tips to do this.

The bank is introducing a number of new initiatives as part of the drive to try and help their customers avoid fraud, allowing customers to turn their debit cards "on" or "off" to enable them to make remote purchases as well as setting their own daily ATM withdrawal limits on the Barclays Mobile Banking app.

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An advertising campaign to alert people to the risk of fraud will involve fraud warnings on its online and mobile banking sites as well. There will also be an online quiz to determine users' digital safety level and you can receive tips on how to strengthen your defences.

Barclays will also set up a new police hotline for branch colleagues to call. Barclays' Digital Eagles, assistants who help you with internet related questions, will offerdigital safety tips to people and free support clinics.

A survey of 6,000 UK adults found that 25% of people in the UK have experienced cyber-fraud or a scam in the past three years, Barclays said. It also found that London, Bristol and Birmingham are the scam capitals in the UK, while Newcastle reported fewer cases of fraud and Liverpool reported a high number of identity scams. Londonders with a Master's degree and above, aged 25-34, are the UK's most vulnerable group to scammers.

Barclays UK CEO, Ashok Vaswani, said: "Fraud is often wrongly described as an invisible crime, but the effects are no less damaging to people's lives. As a society our confidence in using digital technology to shop, pay our bills and connect with others has grown faster than our knowledge of how to do so safely. This has created a 'digital safety gap' which is being exploited by criminals. I believe the need to fight fraud has now become a national resilience issue, and we all need to boost our digital safety levels in order to close the gap."

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Banks are helping train the public in digital skills under the government's Digital Strategy. Barclays aims to train one million people over 2017, and teach 45,000 children basic coding, while Lloyds Banking Group aims to train 2.5 million people, charities and SMBs by 2020.

Body copy picture credit: Barclays

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