Increased online shopping led to spurt in financial fraud in UK, says lobby group
A banking lobby group has said that financial fraud rocketed in Britain in the first six months of this year, as consumers increasingly shop online as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Fraudsters stole £753.9 million in the first half of 2021, an increase of 30 per cent over last year, the trade association UK Finance calculated.
Criminals used “scam phone calls, text messages and emails, as well as fake websites and social media posts” to trick people into handing over personal details and passwords, the trade association said.
In previous years, the main source of fraud had been unauthorised use of payment cards.
But in the first half of this year, criminals “focused their activity on authorised push payment (APP) fraud, where the customer is tricked into authorising a payment to an account controlled by a criminal,” it said.
“While the pandemic has seen falls in some types of fraud, others have soared as criminals continue to adapt the methods used to try to trick consumers into handing over account details or personal information that can be used to defraud them of their funds,” the lobby group said.
Losses due to contactless card fraud fell by six per cent “due in part to the reduced opportunity for fraudsters to take advantage of contactless during the lockdown period of the pandemic,” it said.