Nearly Half of UK Consumers Have Been Targeted by Online Fraud Already This Year

Forty-two per cent of UK consumers have been targeted by online fraud in the past three months; according to TransUnion’s ‘2022 Global Digital Fraud Trends’ report.

Among those targeted, the five most common scams faced were phishing, third-party seller scams on legitimate online retail websites, stolen credit cards or fraudulent charges, account takeover and identity theft.

Forty-six per cent had been the victim of phishing, 25 per cent became the target of third-party seller scams, 23 per cent had experienced fraudulent charges, 20 per cent had had an account taken over whilst 15 per cent had had their identity stolen.

Josh Gunnell, director of fraud and ID for TransUnion UKJosh Gunnell, director of fraud and ID for TransUnion UK
Josh Gunnell

“We’re seeing a high number of digital fraud attempts, which is unsurprising given that more than half of UK consumers told us they are now conducting the majority of their transactions online – from managing personal finances to weekly food shopping,” said Josh Gunnell, director of fraud and ID for TransUnion UK.

“Financial services, as well as travel and leisure, recently experienced some of the biggest spikes in fraud attempts. As cybercriminals shift focus to target these industries, it’s imperative businesses have multi-layered identity solutions and strong authentication processes in place to help protect consumers and build trust.”

Data from TransUnion’s intelligence network found how the travel and leisure sectors experienced the most significant rise in the rate of suspected digital fraud attempts targeting industries.

It rose 111 per cent globally from 2019 to 2021, whilst suspected digital fraud from the UK against that industry saw a smaller but significant increase of 60 per cent during the same period.

TransUnion monitors digital fraud attempts reported by businesses in various industries such as finance, retail, telecommunications, utilities, gaming, government and insurance; among others.

The conclusions outlined in its report are based on intelligence from transactions, websites and apps contained in its identity proofing, risk-based authentication and fraud analytics solution suite.

Digital acceleration and the pandemic

The continuous growth of e-commerce has increased the risk of digital fraud and the need to mitigate fraud attempts by putting advanced authentication processes in place. Three in 10 UK consumers said they prefer using one-time passcodes for authenticating their identity when opening a new online account.

Such widespread technology adoption has led to high consumer expectations in terms of both experience and security, with 67 per cent of UK consumers saying they have abandoned an online application or form before completing it.

Among the top reasons they say they did so is they felt the process was frustrating (52 per cent) or too much information was required (51 per cent). Additionally, over six in 10 UK consumers say they wouldn’t return to a website if they had a fraud concern or experienced a slow website.

“Interestingly, the top four types of digital fraud which UK consumers were most worried about differed slightly from the attempts reported,” continues Gunnell. “Our research highlighted the biggest UK consumer concerns were identity theft, credit card fraud and phishing. At TransUnion, we help businesses prevent fraud by using intelligent predictive solutions to deliver better experiences and reassure customers that their personal data will not be compromised.”

  • Tyler is a Fintech Junior Journalist with specific interests in Online Banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.