Anyone can fall victim in an ‘epidemic of fraud’

The latest annual fraud report published by UK Finance stresses the need for an urgent response to ‘the epidemic of fraud’ that the UK is currently facing.

The report reveals that £1.3bn was stolen by criminals through authorised and unauthorised fraud in 2021. In total, 56% of UK adults1 have received a suspicious communication or known someone who has in the last year, which equates to an estimated 29.6 million UK adults being affected by scams last year.

Preying on the elderly

Reportedly, scam victims aged over 70 lost about £977m2 in total between April 2019 and 2022. Official figures fail to capture the true extent of such fraud because these crimes remain under-reported, especially among elderly people who live alone.

Cost of living

During the pandemic, criminals exploited victims’ fears over coronavirus. Now, the cost-of-living crisis has become a new line of attack. The UK Finance report showed that authorised push payment (APP) fraud, where victims are tricked into transferring money into scammers’ accounts, leapt by 40% last year. Such techniques are now being used to prey on people’s financial preoccupations.

Tech effect

Everyone, young or old, can be a victim of fraud. Indeed, under-25s are more likely to be defrauded on the phone than older generations. One study3 found the youngest cohort 75% more likely to have been scammed this way than those over fifty-five.

Scammers are also seeing a growing opportunity in cryptocurrencies, which are not regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. In the year to May 2022, crypto frauds soared 58% to £226m, new research4 has found.

Don’t suffer in silence

Anyone can be a victim of fraud. We can help you protect your finances.

1Canada Life, 2022,

2Action Fraud, 2022,

3Truecaller, 2022

4NordVPN, 2022

The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated.