Fraud Costs in 2023: UK Finance Report Highlights Over £1 Billion Stolen

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The latest annual 2024 fraud report from UK Finance reveals that criminals stole £1.17 billion through unauthorized and authorized fraud in 2023, a slight decrease of 4% compared to 2022. Banks utilizing advanced security systems successfully prevented an additional £1.25 billion in unauthorized fraud. According to the report, 76% of Authorized Push Payment (APP) fraud cases began online, while 16% originated from telecommunications networks.

Ben Donaldson, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, highlighted the severe impact of fraud, stating, “Nearly £1.2 billion was stolen from customers in 2023. The criminals who commit these crimes destroy lives and damage our society. The stolen money funds serious organized crime, and victims often suffer emotional damage as fraud is a pernicious and manipulative crime.”

Unauthorised Fraud Losses

Losses from unauthorized transactions, including payment cards, remote banking, and cheques, amounted to £708.7 million in 2023, a three percent decline from the previous year. The number of recorded cases fell by two percent to 2.7 million. Notably, remote purchase fraud losses decreased by nine percent, marking the fifth consecutive year of decline, thanks to the rollout of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) which verifies customers’ identities.

Despite these gains, card ID theft surged by 53% to £79.1 million. Criminals increasingly used stolen personal information and card details to take over existing accounts or apply for new credit cards. Nevertheless, the prevention of unauthorized fraud rose by seven percent, reaching £1.25 billion, with UK Finance reporting that customers are refunded in over 98% of such cases.

Authorized Push Payment Fraud

APP fraud losses totaled £459.7 million, a 5% decrease from the previous year. Personal losses accounted for £376.4 million, while business losses were £83.3 million. The number of APP fraud cases increased by 12 percent to 232,429, driven mainly by purchase scams, which saw a 34 percent rise in cases and a 28 percent increase in losses to £85.9 million.

Romance scams also rose, with losses up 17 percent to £36.5 million and cases up 14 percent. Conversely, impersonation fraud, where criminals pose as banks or police, saw a 37 percent decrease in cases and a 28 percent reduction in losses, reflecting significant efforts to warn consumers.

In total, £287.3 million of APP losses were returned to victims in 2023, representing 62 percent of the total loss, an increase from 59 percent in 2022.

This comprehensive report underscores the ongoing battle against fraud and highlights the need for continued vigilance and collaboration across sectors to protect consumers and combat financial crime.


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