Digital Fraud Continues to Rise, With Remote Banking Fraud up 53%

Josh Gunnell, head of fraud & ID pre-sales at TransUnion in the UK, comments on the recent ONS fraud statistics

“The latest quarterly fraud figures from the Office for National Statistics highlight the extent of the impact of the pandemic, with fraud up 36% for the year to September 2021, compared with the year ending September 2019, at 5.1 million fraud offences. Much of this was driven by financial and retail fraud, which is unsurprising, given the behavioural changes and increased digitisation we’ve seen as a result of COVID-19.

“Particularly concerning is the rise in digital fraud within financial services, with UK Finance reporting an increase of 53% in remote banking fraud for the year to September 2021 and financial investment fraud rising 42% for the same period, according to Action Fraud.

“More widely, advanced fee fraud, including the common delivery service scams where victims transferred funds to fraudsters, saw a sizable increase of 18% – from 43,555 to 51,407 offences – in the last year.

“Going into another year where consumers will face a barrage of threats online, it’s more important than ever for businesses to take a rigorous approach to fraud prevention and identify verification. By implementing proactive and predictive solutions that make data-led decisions on potentially fraudulent activity, businesses can help deliver safe experiences, without compromising on the customer journey.

“It’s positive to hear that the UK government is currently drafting its landmark Online Safety Bill. With pressure from lobbyists, it seems a real possibility that new anti-fraud legislation will help tackle the scourge of push payment scams that are served to consumers via paid-for advertising. This could be a major step towards breaking the trend of increased fraudulent activity online, alongside progress being made on the UK’s digital identities trust framework.”