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UK consumers lost over half a billion pounds to scams in the first half of 2023

UK consumers lost over half a billion pounds to scams in the first half of 2023

Criminals stole £580 million through unauthorised and authorised fraud in the first half of 2023, a two per cent decrease compared with the same period in 2022, according to new figures from UK Finance.

The report reveals that criminals are increasingly using social media, online platforms, texts, phone calls and emails to deceive victims into giving up their personal details and their money.

Authorised push payment (APP) fraud losses were £239.3 million, down one per cent compared to last year. This comprised £196.7 million of personal losses and £42.6 million of business losses.

All told, 77% of APP fraud cases originated from online sources. These cases tend to include be lower-value scams, such as purchase scams, and so account for 32% of total losses. A further 17% of cases originated in telecommunications and these tend to include higher value cases, such as impersonation fraud, and so account for 45% of total losses.

The total number of APP cases was up 22% to 116,324. The main driver behind this is purchase scams, where people are tricked into paying for goods that never materialise. The total number of these cases rose 43% to just under 77,000 and accounts for two thirds of all APP cases, while the amount lost rose 31% to £40.9 million.

The number of romance scams, where victims are tricked into believing they are in a relationship, rose by 29% and the amount lost to this kind of fraud rose by 26% to £18.5 million.

The number of fraud cases where criminals impersonate a bank or the police and convince someone to transfer money to a 'safe account' fell by 35% and the amount lost to this type of fraud fell by 27%. This follows significant investment made in warning consumers that a bank will never ask someone to transfer money in this way.

In total £152.8 million of APP losses was returned to victims in H1 2023 or 64% of the total loss. This has increased by 13% from £135.6 million in H1 2022.

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