The findings are part of a quarterly report done by money.co.uk analysing the state of cyber crime in the UK.
In the first quarter of this year, there were 85,171 crimes recorded, up slightly from the previous quarter. However monetary losses fell significantly at £527 million this quarter compared to £918 million the previous one.
Worst types of fraud
Of the recorded categories of fraud, the most financially damaging was investment fraud. This is where victims are convinced to make investments based on false information. In total, victims lost £137.6m this quarter across over 6,000 recorded cases.
The most common type of fraud recorded last quarter was consumer fraud. This is where a victim incurs losses when they think they are participating in a legal business, such as online shopping. This form of fraud was recorded over 31,500 times in the first quarter making up more than 20% of all reports.
Of the cases reported, those in the 30-39 age group were most likely to be targeted by cyber crimes in Q1 of 2023, with 20-29 close behind.
The study also found that older age groups disproportionately made up computer software service fraud, advance fee fraud, cheque/card fraud and door to door sales fraud.
How to Address Fraud
Noticing when you are being scammed is hard to see at the moment. Many scammers rely on emotional pressure to force victims into quick decisions before they have time to take in all the information. However, money.co.uk has some tips on how to protect yourself.
Money.co.uk’s senior credit card expert James Andrews said: “Using a credit card to pay for purchases gives you extra protection when shopping online. If you pay for even part of an item costing between £100 and £30,000 using your credit card, then you get extra protection from your card provider under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
He also suggests that if you notice you have unexpectedly lost money, to make your bank aware of it immediately. Additionally, the report reminds consumers that banks and official bodies will never request details like credit card numbers over the phone or email.
In terms of spotting a scam in progress, the report suggests looking at the website itself. Websites with a ‘.net’ or ‘.org’ ending aren’t usually used for online shopping, and always check to see if the website begins with ‘https://’, usually with a padlock beside it in the search bar. Additionally, the websites themselves will often look less professional and have poor quality photos and grammatical errors on the site.
If you go through with the transaction, using an online method like PayPal is a good option since scammers will not be able to access your bank details. The report reminds consumers never to pay by bank transfer, especially into crypto wallets.