UK bank losses from complex scams surge 40%

People walk across Millennium Bridge with the City of London financial district seen behind, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in London, Britain, January 20, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

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LONDON, June 29 (Reuters) – British bank customers were tricked out of 583 million pounds ($712 million) stolen through sophisticated fraud in 2021, up nearly 40% on the prior year, according to data published by trade body UK Finance.

Lenders have been battling increasingly complex fraud schemes against their customers, as criminals target the growing numbers of people banking and shopping online since the COVID-19 pandemic. read more

Fraud losses at British banks increased 8% overall in the year to 1.3 billion pounds, the UK Finance report found.

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But a breakdown revealed losses from so-called authorised push payment scams – where a customer is tricked into a payment by a criminal – grew 39% to 583 million pounds. Nearly half (47%) was reimbursed by banks to victims.

A 7% fall in losses from “unauthorised” fraud – where money gets stolen without a customer’s knowledge or consent, for instance with the use of stolen card details – helped keep a lid on the overall industry total, the report found.

The fastest-growing type of “authorised” scam were “CEO frauds”, where people inadvertently made a payment after receiving a message they believed to be from the…

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