Internet and e-commerce fraud in the UK rose by 179% during the period from 2010 to 2020, according to an analysis by Uswitch.com.
In 2020 alone £376.5m was lost to internet and e-commerce fraud in the UK, which was more heavily impacted by this type of crime than any other country in Europe. Across the previous decade, more than one in nine (12%) of Brits have been affected by this kind of fraud, with a value of £8908 lost per 1000 inhabitants.
According to the research, internet fraud losses increased significantly from 2010, reaching a peak in 2018 of £394.2m. This dipped in 2019 to £359.3m, but went up again in 2020 to £376.5m.
It was also calculated that people in the UK are now more likely to fall victim to fraud or cybercrime than many other offences; for example, they are 20-times more likely to be a victim of fraud than robbery.
Additionally, Uswitch.com highlighted survey data showing that more than half (51%) of UK residents have suffered financial loss as a result of fraud, while 45% have had their personal information stolen online.
Of all the various forms of fraud, impersonation scams had the highest financial impact in the UK in 2020, with £96.6m lost from impersonation of police or bank staff and £53.7m to other types of impersonation scams.
Encouragingly, over half (56%) of the value lost to impersonation scams last year was reimbursed. However, other types of fraud had a much lower reimbursement rate: for purchase scams it was just 29%.
Nick Baker, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, commented: “Fraudsters are becoming ever more sophisticated in their methods, creating scams for all types of products and services, such as loans, dating, holidays and business opportunities.
“Sadly, people of all ages can fall victim to fraud. Not only do online scams target vulnerable individuals, but they also go after major corporations, smaller businesses and the public sector.”