Credit Cards & Loans
Brits lost £4bn to fraudsters in 2022
The personal finance website’s 2022 Fraud Report found that last year, there were 350,547 fraud and cybercrime cases, resulting in an average loss of £11,411 per victim.
The report analyses police figures to the most common types of fraud and how much money is lost.
There were 90,490 cybercrimes reported from January 2022 to March 2022 with losses totalling £610.3m. In the second quarter of the year, the number of reported crimes was slightly lower (88,199), but reported losses reached £1.1bn – an increase of £490m quarter to quarter.
In the third quarter of 2022, the number of cases dropped again, but total losses rose significantly – 87,048 recorded cases of fraud and cybercrime in the UK resulted in £1.6bn in losses, averaging at more than £18,000 a case.
The final quarter saw the lowest number of cases (down nearly 4,000 from Q3), but there were still more than £917m worth of losses.
The analysis shows that in total, Brits lost £4bn to fraudsters in 2022.
What are the main types of fraud?
In Q4 2022, banking fraud caused the most damage, with total losses from October to December adding up to £289.3m – down significantly from Q3, but an increase of 164% on Q2 figures. This type of fraud saw an average loss per victim of £36,000.
Banking fraud is the use of potentially illegal means to obtain money, assets, or other property owned or held by a financial institution, or to obtain money from depositors by fraudulently posing as a bank or other financial institution.
Investment fraud – where fraudsters induce individuals into making purchases based on false or misleading information – led to losses totalling £251.1m in Q4 2022, a 65% increase on Q3 figures.
In terms of specific fraud areas, online shopping remained the single biggest source of fraudulent activity in terms of the number of cases, accounting for nearly one in five total reports. Last year there were 67,300 reported online shopping fraud cases, with losses equalling £103m – £63.9m of that in Q4 alone.
Who are fraudsters targeting?
Money.co.uk found that those aged 30 to 39 were targeted the most by fraud and cybercrimes in Q4 2022. This differs from 2021 where those aged 20 to 29 were targeted most. People younger than 60 were most commonly victims of online shopping and auction fraud.
Older age groups more commonly experienced crimes in the categories of computer software fraud, advance fee fraud and door-to-door sales fraud.
Computer software fraud involves criminals posing as legitimate software companies (e.g. Microsoft), calling you to tell you there’s a problem with your computer in order to gain access to your private information and commit fraud.
Advance fee fraud is when fraudsters target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that don’t materialise.
How can you avoid fraud?
James Andrews, senior personal finance expert at money.co.uk, said: “Cybercrimes cost Brits more than £4bn last year, with losses rising yet again. This is a reminder for us to protect our data online and be more vigilant when making purchases online.
“Using a credit card to pay for purchases gives you extra protection when shopping online. If you pay for even part of an item costing between £100 and £30,000 using your credit card, then you get extra protection from your card provider under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This allows you to claim a refund from your credit card provider if the selling merchant can’t be contacted or denies any wrongdoing.
“Making sure you have up-to-date antivirus software on your computer, phone and tablet can also help protect yourself from cyber attacks. Finally, as a rule of thumb, banks and other official bodies will never request details such as credit card numbers or other personal information over the phone or email.
“If you do find yourself in a position where you have unexpectedly lost money, it is important that your bank is made aware of this as soon as possible.”