More than £4bn was stolen by fraudsters and cyber criminals in the UK through 2022 after a huge increase from the previous year.
According to a major report from money.co.uk, this represented a 63% increase in losses compared to 2021, when £2.4bn was stolen.
In its 2022 Fraud and cybercrime report, the online financial service comparison website revealed that criminals are stealing larger sums of money in each fraud, resulting in a greater average loss per fraud (£11,000) despite fewer reported cyber crimes – more than 350,500 frauds or cyber crimes were reported in 2022, representing 21% fewer than the previous year.
Online shopping was the single biggest source of fraudulent activity in terms of the number of cases, with 67,300 reported online shopping fraud cases last year, with £103m stolen.
Cyber crime is continuing to in crease at a rapid rate as fraudsters find new opportunities in the digital world.
“Cyber crime has been dominating the headlines over the past two years as fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks. Successful criminals are stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from just a single intrusion in some cases,” said the report summary.
In the final three-month period of last year, when £917m was stolen, banking fraud was responsible for the biggest losses with nearly £290m taken. Banking fraud could be set to increase significantly over the coming years,
James Andrews, senior personal finance expert at money.co.uk, said: “Making sure you have up to date antivirus software on your computer, phone and tablet can help to protect yourself from cyber attacks.”
He added: “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.”
Fraudsters are increasingly avoiding the cyber security systems of banks through Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud, which sees criminals use fake websites and emails to trick consumers into authorising payments to them.
According to a recent report produced by supplier of payments software ACI Worldwide and analytics firm GlobalData, APP fraud (also known as bank transfer fraud) caused losses to UK citizens worth $789.4m in 2021, and could to rise to $1.56bn by 2026.