Digital Fraud on the Rise Again According To Latest ONS Fraud Statistics

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

“Today’s ONS fraud statistics reinforce the extent to which cybercriminals have been using the digitalisation of society brought about by the pandemic to their advantage.

“UK Finance has reported a 68% increase in remote banking fraud, whilst new data from Action Fraud confirms that incidents of online shopping and auction fraud have increased by 38%. This comes in the same week that the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) revealed they had taken down more scams in the last year than in the previous three years combined.i

“We particularly urge businesses and consumers to watch out for phishing attempts. This illegal means of collecting private data by posing as legitimate businesses such as banks, utility companies or even apps like Zoom is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Phishing now accounts for 48% of all fraud attempts, according to TransUnion’s own Consumer Pulse study.ii

“Also of concern is how criminals are hijacking the increase in vaccine-related communications to fraudulently harvest vast amounts of personal data. The NCSC announced this week that they had removed 43 fake NHS COVID-19 apps from unofficial app stores, underlining just how alert consumers will need to remain as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic.iii Hyper-vigilance will be required from businesses too, and for many it will be well worth investigating tech solutions that can help mitigate this growing risk.”



i National Cyber Security Centre - Active Cyber Defence report 2021

ii TransUnion’s Consumer Pulse study (formerly the Financial Hardship Study) commenced in March 2020. Based on data collected 5 - 9 March 2021 from 1,100 UK consumers on behalf of TransUnion

iii National Cyber Security Centre - Active Cyber Defence report 2021