More than half a billion pounds has been lost to fraud so far this year, as the number of romance and purchase scams spiral.
The latest fraud data sent to the Government today by industry body UK Finance reveals a growing fraud epidemic.
The number of reported cases of romance scams has soared, rising 29 pc in the first half of the year, compared with the same period in 2022.
Victims lost a combined £18.5million in a sophisticated trick which involves fraudsters luring victims into a trusting online relationship, often via social media, then extorting them for cash.
Victims typically make an average of nine financial transactions before realising they have been conned.
Victims lost a combined £18.5million in a sophisticated trick which involves fraudsters luring victims into a trusting online relationship, often via social media, then extorting them for cash
Criminals are increasingly enticing online shoppers into purchase scams, with the number of successful attacks rising by 43 pc.
This is where a person pays in advance for goods or services that never arrive and the transaction typically originates online.
The amount of money lost to this type of scam rose by 31 pc to £40.9million in the first half of the year.
Nearly four in five of all authorised push payment scams start online, on social media platforms and fake websites.
The number of push payment scams reported in the first half of the year soared by 22 pc, with households losing £196.7million.
Money Mail’s Stop the Social Media Scammers campaign is calling on tech giants to do more to protect users from criminals.
Research from Lloyds Bank found that more than two-thirds of online shopping scams start on Facebook, the social media site owned by tech titan Meta.
Criminals stole £580million through fraud in the first half of 2023, 2 pc less than the same period in 2022, while banks prevented £650.7million from being stolen through advanced security systems, UK Finance finds.
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