The rise in Authorised Push Payments (APP) has been accelerating within the UK, with SurePay’s Co-Founder and CEO David-Jan Janse stating that the ‘epidemic of fraud shows no signs of stopping’. 

It comes as UK Finance revealed the fraud method is up 39% over the past year – intensified by a cost of living crisis in the UK. 

Across 195,996 victims of APP fraud in the country, £583m was stolen as a result. Fraud and scam attempts made up £1.3bn worth of losses according to UK Finance, with £730m of losses defined as unauthorised fraud. 

SurePay’s Janse commented: “We are indeed living in an epidemic of fraud that shows no signs of stopping. APP fraud has been on a rise since the start of the pandemic and by last year it has already overtaken card fraud. 

“Fraudsters are restless in finding new ways of tricking people out of their money and the solutions they are deploying are becoming increasingly sophisticated. The worst part is that they’re targeting the most vulnerable – either new entrants in the digital payments space or the large pockets of the financial services sector still left without appropriate processes and technologies to prevent fraud.”

UK Finance’s recent findings lends credence to Janse’s remarks, as APP and impersonation fraud continues to become a growing issue. Financial criminals falsely identified themselves as employees of high-ranking firms such as banks, government departments and the NHS, contacted via 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. 

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