While the end of the pandemic has seen a fall in overall fraud losses, some fraud types have increased as criminals continue to adapt, according to the trade body UK Finance’s latest figures. It reported that £609.8m was stolen through fraud and scams in the first half of 2022, a decline of 13 per cent compared to the first half of 2021 (an exceptionally high period for fraud, the trade body said). Of that total, unauthorised fraud loses were £360.8m and authorised push payment (APP) fraud losses were £249.1m.
The banking and finance industry prevented a further £583.9m of unauthorised fraud from getting into the hands of criminals, the trade association said. UK Finance and its members repeated a call for greater cross-sector action to tackle the problem at source.
Katy Worobec, managing director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, said: “As we have warned previously, the level of fraud in the UK is such that it must be considered a national security threat. The industry is continuously focused on tackling the threat as we know criminals continue to find new ways to exploit potential victims. However, criminal gangs simply bypass the advanced security measures banks have in place and instead directly target the customer, usually outside the confines of the banking system. This is why it is key that other sectors work with us to fight fraud as it remains a persistent threat to businesses, consumers and the growth of the economy not to mention the reputation of the UK as a place to do business.”
Some 95,219 incidents of APP (authorised push payment) scams in H1 2022 with gross losses of £m, down 17 per cent compared to the first half of 2021. APP fraud losses continued to be driven by the abuse of online platforms used by criminals to scam their victims. These include investment scams advertised on search engines and social media, romance scams committed via online dating platforms and purchase scams promoted through auction websites. Criminals used scam phone calls, text messages and emails, as well as fake websites and social media posts, to trick people into handing over personal details and passwords. They subsequently used this information to convince people into authorising a payment.