People in the UK lost £1.2bn to fraud in 2022, the equivalent of £2,300 every minute according to bank industry group UK Finance.
UK Finance said around three million scams took place – slightly less than the previous year – with frauds involving payment cards being the most common. UK Finance said losses were not always reimbursed and urged tech firms to “share the burden” of covering costs.
Within the total figure, unauthorised fraud losses across payment cards, remote banking and cheques reached £726.9 million in 2022, a decrease of less than one per cent compared to 2021.
Remote purchase fraud, where a criminal uses stolen card details to buy something online, over the phone or through mail order, remains the biggest category of losses at £395.7 million – although this figure was again down on the previous year. Fraud on lost and stolen cards increased by 30 per cent to £100.2 million and card ID theft, where a criminal opens or takes over a card account in someone else’s name, almost doubled to £51.7 million. Victims of unauthorised fraud cases such as these are legally protected against losses.
Authorised push payment (APP) fraud losses reached £485.2 million, down 17 per cent compared to 2021. Within this, 57 per cent of all reported cases related to purchase fraud, with case volumes breaking 100,000 for the first time. Investment fraud continued to be one of the largest proportion of APP losses (24 per cent), although there was a 34 per cent reduction compared with 2021. Overall, the amount of APP fraud losses reimbursed increased by five per cent in 2022 compared to the previous year.
The banking and finance industry spends billions of pounds each year fighting fraud and economic crime. However, the majority of fraud originates outside the banking sector and UK Finance has conducted analysis on over 59,000 APP fraud cases to show the sources of fraud.
The analysis showed that 78 per cent of APP fraud cases originated online – these tend to include lower-value fraud such as purchase fraud and therefore account for 36 per cent of losses. Social media platforms account for the greatest number of online fraud cases – around three quarters of online fraud starts on social media.
Meanwhile, 18 per cent of fraud cases originate via telecommunications – these are usually higher value cases, such as impersonation fraud, and account for 44 per cent of losses.
Given so much fraud is initiated from criminal activity taking place through online platforms and telecommunications, UK Finance and its members have long called for far greater cross-sector action to tackle the problem at source.
David Postings, Chief Executive at UK Finance, said “Fraud has a devastating impact on victims and over £1.2 billion was stolen by criminals last year. The banking and finance sector is at the forefront of efforts to tackle this criminal activity. The sector spends billions on detection and prevention and also refunds people who have fallen victim, even if the fraud originated outside the banking system. ”
“Our data also makes clear just how much fraud emanates from online platforms and through telecommunications. The government’s new fraud strategy rightly says we need to focus on stopping it at source and that these other sectors need to do far more to tackle the problem they are facilitating.”
|Source||Volume of cases||Value of losses|
|78 per cent||36 per cent|
|Telecommunications||18 per cent||44 per cent|
|2 per cent||12 per cent|
|2 per cent||7 per cent|
Emma Lovell, CEO of the Lending Standards Board said “Whilst we are pleased to see that efforts to prevent scams have resulted in a decline in the overall rate of APP scams, scammers still pose a significant threat to society.”
“Falling victim to a scam can have devastating long-term emotional implications. Reimbursement is only one part of the picture; it is vital that we don’t lose focus on the preventative measures that protect customers from the distress and turmoil scams cause – while halting the funding of these criminal enterprises. The CRM Code exists to ensure signatory firms protect their customers with procedures to detect APP scams, prevent them, and respond to them when they do slip through the net.”
“Despite scammers becoming more sophisticated by the day, the statistics have shown that firms are succeeding in reducing the number of successful scams, a key focus for those signed up to the CRM Code. We must continue to hold firms accountable by having independent standards in place to further drive down the volume of successful APP scams. Our priority remains focused on ensuring that the best protections are in place for customers, and we will continue to work closely with regulators and industry to ensure this happens.”
“The government has also indicated this month that it favours technology firms working together to stop scams at the source – potentially via a voluntary code. This is a positive step given there are multiple organisations involved in getting people to the point they press ‘pay’ during a scam. All players in the customer journey need to work out where the ‘danger spots’ are to understand the role they can play in stopping scams.”