The UK is the ‘card fraud capital of Europe’ with Brits falling foul of scammers at a higher rate and bigger cost than any other country, a top think tank warned today.
The UK suffers on average 134 frauds per 1000 people with scammers making off with £8833 per 1000 people, the Social Market Foundation (SMF) found in analysis of European central bank data.
Brits are almost nine times more likely to be a victim of fraud than Germans, who suffer just 15 scams per 1000 people, while Italians fall victim at a rate of 19 scams per 1000 people.
The average amount taken from Brits in fraud also dwarfs second place France, where the average amount stolen is £6069 per 100 people
The SMF has now doubled down on calls for the Government to adopt a “comprehensive whole-systems” approach to address fraud starting with recruiting more specialist staff that are trained to handle complex crime like fraud (and other economic crime types).
In March, the organisations warned that fraud was now the most common crime in England and Wales, costing the UK economy £137bn each year.
The figures paint a stark picture of fraud in the UK and come after industry body UK finance found that complex fraud was on the rise in June after an uptick in fraud levels brought on by the pandemic.
In the first half of this year, criminals stole a total of £753.9m through fraud, an increase of over a quarter compared to the first half of 2020.
Criminals have also been ramping up their use of so-called authorised push payment (APP) fraud, where customers are tricked into authorising a payment to an account controlled by a criminal.
APP fraud losses increased 71 per cent during the first half of 2021 – surpassing the amount of money stolen through card fraud for the first time.