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Warning UK losing £2,300 per minute to fraud

Warning UK losing £2,300 per minute to fraud

People in the UK lost £1.2bn to fraud in 2022, the equivalent of £2,300 every minute, according to bank industry group UK Finance.

It said around three million scams took place - slightly less than the previous year - with frauds involving payment cards being the most common.

UK Finance said losses were not always reimbursed and urged tech firms to "share the burden" of covering costs.

Ministers say they will get tougher on scams as part of a national strategy.

Fraud is now the most common crime in the UK, with one in 15 people falling victim.

According to UK Finance, the amount of money stolen in 2022 was actually 8% less than in 2021, and fraud cases were down 4% - but there were still nearly three million cases across the UK in total.

It said the most common type of fraud after card fraud was scams involving purchases.

*  It also found that romance fraud - where a scamming gang pretends to be romantically interested in the victim to get money - increased in 2022.

*  However, investment fraud, where fraudsters pretend to offer an opportunity to invest, fell by a third amid cost-of-living pressures.

UK Finance boss David Postings said drugs gangs, criminal groups abroad and "state-sponsored bad actors" were responsible for the majority of fraud.

He added that while banks were legally obliged to refund so called unauthorised fraud, they did not have to cover the costs of authorised scams - where victims are tricked into agreeing to send sending money to fraudsters.

As a result, banks only refunded about 59% of the losses from this type of fraud on a voluntary basis, amounting to £285.6m of the £485.2m stolen.

Mr Postings said many of the most common frauds started online and called on tech and telecoms companies to play a greater role in reimbursing lost funds.

However, industry group Tech UK said technology firms "already take a wide range of active measures to prevent fraud".

In terms of future threats, Mr Postings said he was concerned that artificial intelligence [AI] would let scammers "spoof people even more than is already the case".

He added that AI could be used to automate fraud and generate convincing scams to trick people.

The government recently released a new fraud strategy, which will include allowing banks to delay payments from being processed for longer, to allow for suspect payments to be investigated.

The strategy will also include banning cold calls on all financial products, such as those relating to bogus insurance or sham cryptocurrency schemes, to help stop scams at source.

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