UK Finance reveals rise of 39% of APP fraud in 2021

Losses in stolen money due to Authorised Push Payments (APP) is up 39% from last year, according to the latest figures released by UK Finance

£1.3bn was stolen in overall fraud and scam attempts with 40% of losses through APPs caused by impersonation scams. UK Finance revealed £583m was lost through APP, whilst £730m of losses was deemed as unauthorised fraud.

 The research outlined that 195,996 were the victims of APP scams last year. Impersonation scams were highly prevalent, with £214m lost as a cause. A further £171m was lost due to investment scams, and purchase scams attributed to 51% of all cases despite its total losses accounting for £64m. 

Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, commented: “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. 

“This is why we continue to call for other sectors to play a greater role in helping protect customers from the scourge of fraud.”

Companies affected by impersonation fraud, who criminals falsely identified themselves as, ranged from firms such as banks, government departments and the NHS through phone calls, text messages, emails and fake websites. 

Furthermore, 47% of victims of various types of fraud did not get reimbursed, despite the voluntary reimbursement scheme run through a high majority of the UK’s major banks. 

“These numbers provide further worrying proof of the scale and seriousness of the fraud taking place in the UK. We need to fight together, with better collaboration and knowledge sharing between banks, the government, regulators, telecoms and social media companies, and law enforcement,” added Kate Frankish, Chief Business Development Officer and anti-fraud lead at Pay.UK.  

“We need to increase public awareness of the risks of fraud. And we need to share data and technology that can spot the crime and enable banks and payment providers to intervene before it happens.”