Online fraud is on the rise in the UK, with criminals gaining an estimated 1.2 billion pounds in 2021. That’s according to new figures from UK Finance, which show a near-40% rise in push payment scams in which criminals pretend to be known contacts.
This is a major problem, and one that can have devastating consequences for victims. If you’re not careful, you could easily fall victim to online fraud yourself. So, in this post, we’ll be discussing the most recent stats and help you stay safe.
Push payment scams rising
The UK Finance Figures show that there was a near-40% rise in push payment scams in which the criminal poses as a trusted contact, such as a family member or friend. In total, £1.19 billion was lost to online fraud in 2021, marking an increase of nearly £200 million from the previous year.
What’s even more worrying is that this figure only accounts for scams that were reported to the police. It’s believed that the true figure is much higher, as many people are too embarrassed or ashamed to report being scammed.
If you’re not careful, you could easily fall victim to one of these scams. That’s why it’s important to be vigilant and to always verify the identity of any person or company asking for money online.
What’s even more alarming is that these scams are not just limited to online purchases. Fraudsters are also targeting individuals through email, phone calls, and social media platforms.
The most common type of scam is where the criminals pose as a trusted contact and trick the victim into sending them money. For example, they may claim to be from a company such as PayPal or your bank and ask you to transfer money to them. They may also pretend to be a family member or friend in urgent need of help, and ask you to send them money.
Other scams include online dating fraud, where the criminal poses as someone looking for love but actually wants to steal your money, and investment fraud, where they promise high returns on investments that never materialize.
Phishing emails are also common. They usually look like regular emails, but they’re actually sent to steal your personal information. The scammers will try to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment, which will then install malware on your computer.
£730.4m losses to unauthorised fraud
This type of fraud contributed the largest position of scamming across the UK, with criminals carrying out transactions without the authorisation of the account holder. This resulted in losses of £730.4m in 202. This type of fraud can take many forms, such as someone using your card details without consent, or taking money from your account without your knowledge. Luckily this type of loss is protected, meaning you can be compensated all your money if you can show that a transaction was made without your authority. Close to 98% of victims are refunded annually.
UK Finance is urging people to be vigilant
To help combat this, UK Finance is urging people to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity.
This is a really important message, as the more people report scams and fraudulent activity, the easier it is for the authorities to track down and prosecute the criminals responsible.
If you think you may have been a victim of online fraud, please don’t hesitate to report it. The authorities will try to help you recover any money that you may have lost, and they can also take steps to protect you from future attacks.
Action Fraud is a UK-based national fraud and cybercrime reporting center, and they take reports of all kinds of online fraud. If you have been a victim of fraud, you can report it to Action Fraud by filling out their online form or calling them on 0300 123 2040. They will then investigate the crime and may be able to help you recover your losses.
If you’re ever approached online by someone who seems too good to be true, be very careful and don’t share any personal information with them. Remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch, so if someone asks for money, it’s probably best to walk away.
How can Scam Help assist?
Scam Help is a funds recovery agency that is registered and licensed to work with fraud victims across consulting and recovery services. If you are a victim of such scams, please don’t hesitate to contact us immediately to get an assessment of the loss and evaluate chances of potentially recovering your funds.
Remember the online fraud trends are worrying, and it’s important really to take precautions to protect yourself. Remember, never give out your personal information or financial details to someone you don’t know and trust.
There are steps you can take to protect yourself from online fraud, such as using strong passwords, installing anti-virus software, and being careful about what information you share online.