Scammers made off with over £1.3bn last year after a surge in sophisticated fraud schemes targeting UK bank customers, new data has revealed.
Around £730.4m was taken via unauthorised fraud schemes, in which the holder does not provide authorisation, but authorised push payment (APP) fraud rose significantly to £583.2m losses, a new report by industry body UK Finance found.
Authorised push payment schemes con customers into providing authentication for transactions via complex fraud schemes, which UK Finance said was a growing problem.
Over £214.8m was lost to impersonation scams, in which criminals impersonate organisations to trick people into giving away their personal and financial information, while £171.7m was lost to investment scams.
“Authorised fraud losses rose again this year as criminals targeted people through a variety of sophisticated scams, with much of the criminal activity taking place outside the banking sector, often involving online and technology platforms,” said Katy Worobec, managing director of Economic Crime at UK Finance.
“This is why we continue to call for other sectors to play a greater role in helping protect customers from the scourge of fraud.”
Worobec warned that the scams were being used to siphon off customers’ cash to fund “serious organised crime” and imposing heavy costs on the wider economy.
Analysts saidthe figures revealed a case of “one step forward, two steps back” as a decrease in unauthorised schemes had given way to authorised schemes.
“While unauthorised fraud losses fell last year, with the banking and financial industry preventing £1.4 billion of unauthorised fraud from getting into the hands of crooks, authorised fraud losses rose – mainly due to an increase in losses from impersonation scams,” Myron Jobson, Senior Personal Finance Analyst, interactive investor said.