Online research from Equifax reveals that 61% of Brits underestimate the financial cost of fraud, valuing the impact at less than £1 billion. Over half (54%) estimate the cost to be £500m or below, well below the £1.1 billion level published in the latest KPMG Fraud Barometer.

The survey, conducted by YouGov, found 60% of the British population are concerned about personally experiencing fraud, yet almost a quarter (24%) are unable to identify where to locate information to help protect themselves from this crime. When looking for advice, almost two thirds of Brits (64%) rely on their bank or credit card provider for tips on how to actively defend against fraudsters. Anti-fraud organisations beat Google searches with 33% versus 28% choosing to approach the likes of Action Fraud and Cifas for guidance.

John Marsden, Head of ID and Fraud at Equifax, said: “The figures on the number of fraud cases and their financial value are frightening, and continue to rise. You also have to remember that the true costs are very hard to quantify, especially when there are so many interpretations of what constitutes fraud.

“Consumers are genuinely worried about the risk of fraud, but in many cases still make simple mistakes that increase the risk of them becoming another victim of fraud. As an industry, we need a continuous push to ensure consumers have easy access to straightforward guidance to stay ahead of the fraudsters.”