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The most common cases of credit card crime in the UK in 2023/24

Older age groups more commonly experienced crimes in the categories of computer software service fraud, advance fee fraud, cheque/card fraud.

Image: — © AFP
Image: — © AFP

Uswitch credit card experts have released a fraud report, detailing the average losses people in the UK have incurred due to credit card fraud, banking fraud and more in the past three years.

The outcome in terms of the common causes of credit card fraud reveals (based on police reported data):

Category of FraudNumber of reports (Q4 2023)Reported losses (millions)Average loss per caseNumber of reports (Q3 2023)Reported losses (millions)Average loss per caseNumber of reports (Q4 2022)Reported losses (millions)
Advance Fee10711£25.6£2,39011149£30.3£2,7189634£27.1
Cyber Dependent Crime11066£1.1£9910489£1.6£1536030£1.3
Public Sector157£0.6£3,505225£64.4£286,222180£1.3

In terms of demographics, those aged 30-39 were targeted the most by fraud and cybercrimes in Q4 of 2023, with those aged 20-29 not far behind. Individuals younger than 70 were most commonly victims of online shopping and auctions fraud (excluding uncategorised crimes).

Older age groups more commonly experienced crimes in the categories of computer software service fraud, advance fee fraud, cheque/card fraud, and door to door sales fraud.

Computer software service fraud involves criminals posing as legitimate software companies, such as Microsoft, calling you to tell you there’s a problem with your computer in order to gain access to your private information or hold you to ransom and commit fraud. Advance fee fraud is when fraudsters target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise.

The report also looked into police force figures to understand which parts of the UK have experienced a significant change in fraud figures. 

In the last quarter of 2023, Bedfordshire saw the biggest rise in the number of reported crimes for a mainland UK police force – figures rose by almost 25% – with the total value of losses reaching nearing £4 million. City of London and Police Scotland were the only other forces that saw increases in Q4 (9 percent and 6 percent respectively) with all other forces seeing a decrease from Q3 to Q4.

Salman Haqqi, Uswitch credit cards expert tells Digital Journal how readers can reduce their risk of being a victim of a cybercrime. The advice is:

Use secure websites: Only make online purchases from websites that are reputable and secure. Look for the padlock symbol in the address bar and ensure that the website’s URL starts with “https://” indicating a secure connection.

Keep your information private: Never share your credit card details, such as the card number, expiration date, and CVV, in emails, social media messages, or over the phone unless you initiated the contact and are sure of the recipient’s identity.

Monitor your accounts regularly: Keep a close eye on your credit card statements and transaction history. Report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions to your bank or credit card issuer immediately. Many financial institutions offer mobile apps or online banking services that allow you to monitor your accounts in real time.

Use two-factor authentication (2FA): Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible, especially for online accounts where your credit card information is stored. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a unique code sent to your mobile device, in addition to your password.

Be cautious of phishing scams: Be wary of unsolicited emails, texts, or calls requesting personal or financial information. Phishing scams often impersonate legitimate businesses or organisations to trick you into revealing sensitive data. Verify the authenticity of any requests by contacting the company directly using contact information from their official website.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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