Fraud 2024

The Worrying Rise of Fraud in the UK 2024

Fraud has become an increasingly pervasive issue in the UK, with 2024 marking a significant uptick in both the frequency and sophistication of fraudulent activities, particularly online.
This alarming trend impacts individuals, businesses and financial institutions. According to the National Crime Agency, the first quarter of 2024 alone saw a 25% increase in reported fraud cases in the UK, compared to the same period in 2023.
The financial losses attributed to these crimes are also staggering, with estimates suggesting billions of pounds being siphoned from unsuspecting victims.

What’s to blame?

Well, according to some experts, the cost of living may be partly to blame, as it’s creating fractures in businesses that organised criminals and hackers are all too keen to exploit. And hard economic times are also making some individuals desperate and willing to turn to crime. But, without question, it’s the digital climate that is making fraud all too easy for a growing number of canny criminals - and such a massive threat to businesses.

The online fraudster

The proliferation of online transactions, digital banking and e-commerce has opened up a whole new world for cybercriminals, with phishing scams, identity theft and online payment fraud just a few of the digital threats that have surged in recent years.
Fraudsters are employing increasingly sophisticated tactics. Social engineering scams, where criminals manipulate individuals into divulging confidential information, have become more intricate. Deepfake technology is also being employed to create convincing fake identities and manipulate audio and video, making it even harder for victims to distinguish between legitimate and fraudulent interactions.

The impact on businesses

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are particularly vulnerable to fraud due to often limited resources for implementing robust cybersecurity measures. Business email compromise (BEC) scams, in particular, where attackers infiltrate email systems to manipulate financial transactions, have seen a notable increase. These scams can unfortunately lead to substantial financial losses, plus reputational damage.

Combatting the threat

In response to the growing threat, the UK government and private sector are taking action. Enhanced cybersecurity protocols, public awareness campaigns and stricter regulations are continually being implemented to safeguard against fraud.
Financial institutions are also investing heavily in advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, to detect and prevent fraudulent activities in real-time.

A deeper dive into fraud

The latest Fraudscape 2024 Report published by CIFAS illustrates the impact of fraud on individuals, businesses and the public sector with all the facts and figures you need, at your fingertips.
Read the full report HERE.

Other blogs which may be of interest:

A guide to business email compromise fraud
DDoS attacks - What do they mean for businesses?

Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact one of our team.

Matthew.Collins@ascendbroking.co.uk  | Office: 01245 449060

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