Criminals steal over half a billion pounds and nearly 80 per cent of App fraud starts online

UK Finance today releases its half-year fraud report, detailing the amount its members reported as stolen through fraud and scams in the first half of 2023.

  • Criminals stole £580 million through unauthorised and authorised fraud in the first half of 2023, a two per cent decrease compared with the same period in 2022.
  • Banks prevented a further £651 million of unauthorised fraud from being stolen through advanced security systems.
  • 77 per cent of APP fraud started online and another 17 per cent started through telecommunications networks.
  • The financial services sector is at the forefront of efforts to protect customers from fraud, including partnering with other sectors, government and law enforcement to prevent and disrupt this criminal activity and bring perpetrators to justice.

Ben Donaldson, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, said:

In the first six months of this year ruthless criminals had already stolen more than half a billion pounds from victims through fraud. In addition to the financial losses, these crimes often involve callous manipulation of the victim which can cause psychological and emotional harm. As the UK Finance report shows, criminals are increasingly using social media, online platforms, texts, phone calls and emails to deceive victims into giving up their personal details and their money.

The financial services sector continues to lead the fight against these awful crimes. We are also currently the only sector that reimburses victims. However, it is impossible to reimburse the human impact of these crimes: we must prevent it from happening in the first place. The only way we will prevent fraud is if other sectors do much more to help us deal with the criminality which is increasingly taking place on their platforms.

Fraud origination

Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud losses continued to be driven by the abuse of online platforms and telecommunications. Criminals commit investment scams advertised on search engines and social media, romance scams via online dating platforms and purchase scams promoted through social media and auction websites. Criminals also use scam phone calls, text messages and emails to trick people into handing over personal details and passwords, using this information to convince people into authorising a payment.

Typically, criminals first focus their attempts on socially engineering personal information from their victims with a view to committing APP fraud in which the victim makes the payment themselves. If this is not successful, the criminal often has enough personal information to enable them instead to impersonate their victims, with a view to either taking control of their existing accounts or applying for credit cards in their name.

UK Finance data on the sources of APP fraud shows:

  • 77 per cent of APP fraud cases originated from online sources. These cases tend to include be lower-value scams, such as purchase scams, and so account for 32 per cent of total losses.
  • 17 per cent of cases originated in telecommunications and these tend to include higher value cases, such as impersonation fraud, and so account for 45 per cent of total losses.


Volume of cases

Value of losses













Unauthorised fraud losses

Losses due to unauthorised transactions across payment cards, remote banking and cheques were £340.7 million in the first half of this year, down three per cent on the same period in 2022. The total number of recorded cases was 1.26 million, down ten per cent.

Victims of unauthorised fraud cases such as these are legally protected against losses. And UK Finance research indicates that customers are fully refunded in more than 98 per cent of unauthorised fraud cases.

Remote purchase, or card not present fraud, remained the biggest single category of losses here, although there was a 12 per cent reduction to £173.8m and a 14 per cent reduction in case numbers. The level of losses was the lowest total reported for eight years (since 2015), driven by measures such as Strong Customer Authentication and one-time passcodes (OTPs).

There was a notable increase in card ID theft losses, which were up 57 per cent to £33.1 million. Where criminals are unable to socially engineer their victims into making authorised push payments, they use the personal information gathered as well as stolen card details to either take over existing accounts or apply for new credit cards.

There was a 10 per cent increase in the amount of unauthorised fraud prevented, up to £650.7million.

Authorised Push Payment fraud losses

Authorised push payment (APP) fraud losses were £239.3 million, down one per cent compared to last year. This comprised £196.7 million of personal losses and £42.6 million of business losses.

The total number of APP cases was up 22 per cent to 116,324. The main driver behind this is purchase scams, where people are tricked into paying for goods that never materialise. The total number of these cases rose 43 per cent to just under 77,000 and accounts for two thirds of all APP cases, while the amount lost rose 31 per cent to £40.9 million.

The number of romance scams, where victims are tricked into believing they are in a relationship, rose by 29 per cent and the amount lost to this kind of fraud rose by 26 per cent to £18.5 million.

The number of fraud cases where criminals impersonate a bank or the police and convince someone to transfer money to a “safe account” fell by 35 per cent and the amount lost to this type of fraud fell by 27 per cent. There has been significant investment made in warning consumers that a bank will never ask someone to transfer money in this way.

In total £152.8 million of APP losses was returned to victims in H1 2023 or 64 per cent of the total loss. This has increased by 13 per cent from £135.6 million in H1 2022.


Area of expertise:

Notes to editor

Download the 2023 Half Year Fraud Report here

UK Finance publishes both the value of fraud losses and the number of cases. The data is reported to us by our members which include financial providers, credit, debit and charge card issuers, and card payment acquirers. Each incident of fraud does not equal one person being defrauded, but instead refers to the number of cards or accounts defrauded.

Staying safe 

UK Finance urges customers to follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign, and remember that criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment. Stop and think. It could protect you and your money. 

  • Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
  • Challenge: Could it be fake? It's ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

Detailed fraud figures:





Year on Year Change from H1 2022

Payment Cards





Remote Banking










Authorised Push Payment Fraud











For more information please call the UK Finance press office on 020 7416 6750 or email

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