The finance industry prevented £1.66 billion of unauthorised fraud during 2018, effectively stopping £2 in every £3 of attempted unauthorised fraud, according to the latest report, Fraud the Facts 2019 published from UK Finance.
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During the same period, a total of £1.20 billion was stolen by criminals committing both authorised and unauthorised fraud.
Industry research suggests that the theft of personal and financial information through social engineering caused by data breaches outside the financial sector was a major contributor to the fraud losses.
Stolen data is used to commit fraud both directly and indirectly.
There were several high-profile data breaches involving significant brands during 2018.
Total losses due to unauthorised fraud across payment cards, remote banking and cheques in 2018 were £845 million, an increase of 16 per cent compared to 2017.
Losses due to unauthorised transactions on payment cards increased 19 per cent to £671 million.
The industry prevented £1.12 billion in attempted unauthorised card fraud, 14 per cent more than in 2017.
Three-quarters of the card fraud losses (£506 million) was due to remote purchase fraud, where stolen card details are used to buy something online, over the phone or via mail order.
Losses due to unauthorised remote banking fraud totalled £153 million, 2 per cent lower than 2017.
This category covers unauthorised fraud through internet banking, telephone banking and mobile banking.
Banks prevented £318 million of attempted unauthorised remote banking fraud.
Cheque fraud losses rose by 109 per cent to £21 million.
The volume of fraudulent cheques increased by only 16 per cent, indicating that a small number of high-value fraudulent transactions made during the year led to the rise in losses rather than a change to the longer-term downward trend in this type of fraud.
A total of £218 million of attempted unauthorised cheque fraud was prevented.
There was a total of 2,651,556 cases of unauthorised financial fraud. ■
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