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In the past year, approximately 10% of the UK’s adult population has been victimized by fraud, with a staggering total of £7.5bn ($9.3bn) reported lost, a new study indicates.
The comprehensive report, sponsored by the esteemed Global Anti-Scam Alliance (GASA) and the prominent non-profit, anti-fraud group Cifas, titled “The State of Scams in the United Kingdom 2023,” is based on insights garnered from 2,000 participants across Britain.
The data showed that an alarming 62% of the participants had encountered scam messages at least monthly over the span of a year. Furthermore, 53% noticed a notable surge in these deceptive communications. The majority, 64% to be precise, reported receiving these deceptive emails, while 56% got them via phone calls or text messages.
Intriguingly, 66% chose not to report these scams to official channels. However, a significant 31% did approach financial establishments and law enforcement agencies for assistance.
The reluctance of a considerable portion of victims in reporting these scams might be attributed to perceived inefficiencies or inactions by governmental bodies and the law enforcement community in addressing such offenses.
In response to the growing concerns, the government has plans to introduce an improved national center for fraud and cybercrime reporting, especially given the concerns raised about the capacity and resources of the current system, Action Fraud.
A concerning statistic from last year labeled the UK as Europe’s hotspot for card fraud, registering a staggering 134 cases for every 1000 citizens.
Offering insights, Cifas CEO, Mike Haley, highlighted the rising wave of scams propelled by the escalating cost-of-living situation. He remarked, “With a surge in deceptive campaigns offering financial aid, enticing investment opportunities, fraudulent job offerings, misleading rental property ads, and deceptive purchase and delivery schemes, UK consumers are increasingly at risk.”
He stressed the urgency of the situation, noting, “There’s an immediate need for amplified, effective oversight of digital platforms and an acknowledgment of the profound damage their misleading content inflicts on the public.”
Concluding his statement, Haley expressed Cifas’s ongoing efforts to push for rigorous regulations for online platforms and celebrated the recent approval of the Online Safety Bill.