Fraud Losses in the UK Dropped by 4% but Still Exceeded £1 Billion

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The UK has seen a 4% drop in the amount of money lost to fraud in 2023, totaling £1.17 billion in losses. However, despite this being a 4% decrease compared to the year before, it still topped the £1 billion mark.

UK Finance Reports A Surge In Purchase Fraud Losses

According to reports, criminals stole £1.17 billion in 2023 by way of unauthorized and authorized fraud. The data was reported by the trade body UK Finance.

The report says that losses caused by unauthorized transactions across payment cards, cheques, and remote banking totaled £708.7 million, which represents a 3% drop from 2022. Meanwhile, the recorded cases totaled in 2.7 million, which is 2% lower.

However, Authorized Push Payment (APP) fraud also saw a strong figure of £459.7 million in losses last year. Despite the high amount, this actually represents a 5% decrease compared to the year before. The figure is split into two categories — personal losses (£376.4 million) and business losses (£83.3 million).

But, while the overall figure may have dropped, the total number of APP cases actually went up by 12%, resulting in 232,429 reported cases.

The reports claim that purchase scams are the main driver behind the increased number of fraudulent incidents. These are scams designed to trick people into paying for goods that they will never receive.

These cases skyrocketed in 2023, going up by as much as 34%. In total, more than 156,000 of these cases were reported, while the total amount lost went up by 28% to £85.9 million.

Both the amount lost and the number of reported cases for this category of fraud have reached new records with these figures, leading purchase scams to account for 67% of the total number of APP cases in 2023.

Other Types Of Scams Also Saw A Change In Figures

Other than purchase scams, romance scams also noticed a significant rise. These scams involve tricking people into believing they are in a relationship. Romance scams also hit record levels in terms of both the number of cases and the amount lost, with losses going up by 17% to £36.5 million, while the number of cases surged by 14%.

Then, there are fraud cases where criminals impersonate a bank representative, the police, or some other authority, and convince the victim to transfer their money to a safe account. However, these types of fraud went down significantly compared to 2022, dipping by 37%. The amount lost also dropped by 28%.

The report further mentions that £287.3 million was successfully returned to victims of APP losses last year, representing 62% of the total amount lost. This represents a 3% increase compared to 2022.

Commenting on the matter, UK Finance’s managing director of economic crime, Ben Donaldson, said: “The financial services industry remains at the forefront of efforts to protect customers, prevent fraud, and support those who fall victim.” He added that reimbursement rules will change in the near future, which will lead to an increased risk of getting even more money into criminal hands unless the telecommunication and technology sectors take proper action to prevent it.


Ali is a professional journalist with experience in Web3 journalism and marketing. Ali holds a Master's degree in Finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of leading cryptocurrency publications including, CryptoSlate,,, Business2Community, BeinCrypto, and more.