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Electronic fraud on the rise in Brazil

The Brazilian Banks Federation (Febraban) recently released data from a survey revealing that losses caused by electronic fraud are on the rise. These losses totaled R$ 685 million (US$ 460 million) from January to June this year, up from R$ 504 million (US$ 340 million) for the same period last year. That’s an increase of 36%.

According to the banks, these figures are higher because of the growing use of electronic devices as payment tools, the lack of legislation that inhibits criminal action with effective punishment, and the carelessness of some users regarding security procedures.

Last year, these banks invested R$ 1.9 billion (US$ 1.2 billion) in infrastructure, technology and human resources to prevent possible fraud attempts, and to ensure the confidentiality of customer data and security in the use of electronic channels. They state that there is no record of invasion or wire fraud from the bank’s internal systems. Instead, they assert that this fraud often occurs externally, such as when credit card numbers are captured during online purchases.

Internet fraud often occurs when a consumer is deceived into revealing personal codes and passwords to fraudsters. This can happen when the consumer does not adopt recommended safety measures for equipment such as scanners, legitimate operating systems and software, updated firewalls, etc.

Now Febraban is struggling to get legislation changed. The banks want the Brazilian Congress to enact a law classifying "cyber" or “electronic” crimes as a distinct and punishable offense, acknowledging today's reality of electronic banking and payments. This legislation would follow suit of what’s being done other countries, especially many in Europe, who already have similar laws on the books.

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