Counting Cost of Fraud: Scammers Stole Over £421 Million Last Quarter

  • Uswitch analysis found that scammers stole £422 million last quarter, from 92,739 reported cases of fraud
  • Brits lost £1,212 million to credit card fraud in 2022, down 5% from the previous year
  • Over three quarters (76%) of fraud was credit card fraud
  • Data suggests £26.1 million was lost through fraudulent ATM withdrawals

The new credit card fraud report from Uswitch analyses police figures and the UK Finance report to reveal where in the UK has seen the biggest rise in credit card fraud and cybercrime.

Cybercrime has dominated the headlines over the past two years as fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks. In some cases, successful criminals are stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds in just a single intrusion. 

Says Salman Haqqi, Uswitch credit cards: 

“Cybercrime has inflicted nearly £2.5 billion in losses on Britons over the past year, highlighting the importance of safeguarding our online data and exercising heightened caution during digital transactions.

“Using a credit card for online purchases provides an added layer of security. With purchases ranging from £100 to £30,000, even partial payment using a credit card entitles consumers to enhanced protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This provision enables reimbursement from the credit card issuer if the vendor becomes unresponsive or disputes arise.

“Maintaining up-to-date antivirus software across your devices — be it computers, phones, or tablets — serves as a proactive defence against cyber threats.

“Moreover, it’s crucial to remember that reputable institutions like banks never solicit sensitive information such as credit card details via phone or email.

“In the unfortunate event of monetary loss, prompt communication with your bank is paramount.”

Where have crimes increased the most quarter to quarter 

The report also looked into police force figures to understand which parts of the UK have experienced a significant change in fraud figures. 

In the last quarter of 2023, Bedfordshire saw the biggest rise in the number of reported crimes for a mainland UK police force – figures rose by almost 25% – with the total value of losses reaching nearing £4 million. City of London and Police Scotland were the only other forces that saw increases in Q4 (9% and 6% respectively) with all other forces seeing a decrease from Q3 to Q4.

What were the most common cases of credit card crime in the UK in 2023/24?

Category of Fraud

Number of reports (Q4 2023)

Reported losses (millions)

Average loss per case

Number of reports (Q3 2023)

Reported losses (millions)

Average loss per case

Number of reports (Q4 2022)

Reported losses (millions)

Advance Fee













































Cyber Dependent Crime



























Public Sector









Who has been the most impacted by credit card crime?

Those aged 30-39 were targeted the most by fraud and cyber crimes in Q4 of 2023, with those aged 20-29 not far behind. Individuals younger than 70 were most commonly victims of online shopping and auctions fraud (excluding uncategorised crimes).

Older age groups more commonly experienced crimes in the categories of computer software service fraud, advance fee fraud, cheque/card fraud, and door-to-door sales fraud.

Computer software service fraud involves criminals posing as legitimate software companies, such as Microsoft, calling you to tell you there’s a problem with your computer to gain access to your private information or hold you to ransom and commit fraud. Advance fee fraud is when fraudsters target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise.

5 ways to protect yourself against credit card fraud online

Salman Haqqi, Uswitch credit cards expert gives his tips on how best to protect yourself against fraudsters: 

Use secure websites: Only make online purchases from websites that are reputable and secure. Look for the padlock symbol in the address bar and ensure that the website’s URL starts with “https://” indicating a secure connection.

Keep your information private: Never share your credit card details, such as the card number, expiration date, and CVV, in emails, social media messages, or over the phone unless you initiated the contact and are sure of the recipient’s identity.

Monitor your accounts regularly: Keep a close eye on your credit card statements and transaction history. Report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions to your bank or credit card issuer immediately. Many financial institutions offer mobile apps or online banking services that allow you to monitor your accounts in real time.

Use two-factor authentication (2FA): Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible, especially for online accounts where your credit card information is stored. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a unique code sent to your mobile device, in addition to your password.

Be cautious of phishing scams: Be wary of unsolicited emails, texts, or calls requesting personal or financial information. Phishing scams often impersonate legitimate businesses or organisations to trick you into revealing sensitive data. Verify the authenticity of any requests by contacting the company directly using contact information from their official website.”

Chris Price
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