UK consumers lose £376m to online scams

The UK is the hardest hit country in Europe for online scams, with one in nine Brits falling victim to card fraud.

New research from Uswitch.com found that £96.6 million was lost to impersonation fraud of police or bank staff in 2020, alongside a further £53.7 million lost to other types of impersonation scams, like the recent Royal Mail phishing scam.

An estimated £376.5 million of internet and e-commerce fraud took place in the UK in 2020, up 179 per cent from 2010.

But investment scams had the biggest financial impact in the UK, with £135.1 million lost last year, and only 36 per cent of the value reimbursed.

The UK has the highest financial impact from fraud in Europe, with a value of £8,908 lost per 1,000 inhabitants, followed by Ireland and Denmark.

21 per cent of Brits surveyed said they do not think they are susceptible to online fraud, despite 45 per cent having had their personal information stolen online

“Fraudsters are becoming ever more sophisticated in their methods, creating scams for all types of products and services, such as loans, dating, holidays, and business opportunities,” said Nick Baker, broadband expert at Uswitch.com “Sadly, people of all ages can fall victim to fraud. Not only do online scams target vulnerable individuals, but they also go after major corporations, smaller businesses, and the public sector.”

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