Four in 10 UK Consumers Say Targeted by Online Fraud

According to TransUnion’s 2022 Global Digital Fraud Trends Report, 42% of UK consumers say they have been targeted by online fraud in the past three monthsi.

Among those targeted, the five most common scams faced were phishing (46%), third-party seller scams on legitimate online retail websites (25%), stolen credit card or fraudulent charges (23%), account takeover (20%) and identity theft (15%).

“We’re seeing a high number of digital fraud attempts, which is unsurprising given that more than half of UK consumersi told us they are now conducting the majority of their transactions online – from managing personal finances to weekly food shopping,” said Josh Gunnell, director of fraud and ID for TransUnion in the UK. “Financial services, as well as travel and leisure, recently experienced some of the biggest spikes in fraud attempts. As cyber criminals shift focus to target these industries, it’s imperative businesses have multi-layered identity solutions and strong authentication processes in place to help protect consumers and build trust.”

Globally, TransUnion’s intelligence network found travel and leisure saw the biggest rise in the rate of suspected digital fraud attempts targeting industriesii. It rose 111% globally when comparing 2019 to 2021, whilst suspected digital fraud from the UK against that industry saw a smaller but significant increase of 60% during the same periodi.

TransUnion monitors digital fraud attempts reported by businesses in various industries such as finance, retail, telecommunications, utilities, gaming, government and insurance, among others. The conclusions in its report are based on intelligence from billions of transactions and more than 40,000 websites and apps contained in its flagship identity proofing, risk-based authentication and fraud analytics solution suite – TransUnion TruValidate™.

Digital acceleration in the age of COVID-19

The continuous growth of ecommerce has increased the risk of digital fraud and the need to mitigate fraud attempts by putting advanced authentication processes in place. Three in 10 UK consumers said they prefer using one-time passcodes for authenticating their identity when opening a new online accounti.

Such widespread technology adoption has led to high consumer expectations in terms of both experience and security, with 67% of UK consumers saying they have abandoned an online application or form before completing it. Among the top reasons they say they did so is they felt the process was frustrating (52%) or too much information was required (51%). Additionally, over six in 10 (63%) UK consumers say they wouldn’t return to a website if they had a fraud concern or experienced a slow website (41%).

Josh Gunnell continued: “Interestingly, the top four types of digital fraud which UK consumers were most worried about differed slightly from the attempts reported. Our research highlighted the biggest UK consumer concerns were identity theft (53%), credit card fraud (49%) and phishing (39%). At TransUnion, we help businesses prevent fraud by using intelligent predictive solutions to deliver better experiences and reassure customers that their personal data will not be compromised.”

To find out more about TransUnion’s fraud prevention and ID verification services click here. For more information and insights about our global fraud trends, please download the report.


i Based on 1,000 UK consumers surveyed in January 2022

ii The percent or rate of suspected or risky fraudulent digital transaction attempts are based on those that TransUnion customers receiving TruValidate services have either denied or reviewed due to fraudulent indicators compared to all transactions it assessed for fraud.