The most common types of fraud in the UK revealed

Paying for online shopping using a credit card

Is fraud a problem in the UK? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Here’s what you should know about the most common types of fraudulent activity in the UK.


What are the most common types of fraud in the UK?

Debt management company Lowell carried out some research into the types of fraudulent activity that have affected the largest number of Brits. The results are eye-opening – here are the highlights:

  • Payment card fraud has affected roughly one in five Brits, making it the most common type of fraud in the UK.
  • One in ten Brits has experienced internet banking or text fraud.
  • Mobile banking and cash machine fraud come in third on the list, affecting around one in twenty of us.  

What is payment card fraud, though? Well, it’s basically any fraud affecting your credit card or debit card, including:

  • Phishing, when a scammer ‘fishes’ for your personal details. For example, they might call you claiming to be from your bank, or send you a link to a fraudulent website. 
  • Card skimming, when a fraudster clones your card details without your knowledge. 
  • Card-not-present, when someone steals your card details and makes payments online. So, they don’t have your physical card, but they have the card number, expiry date and security code. 

Fraudsters are most likely to target 16-24-year-olds, according to the research. This is clearly a worry for young people who are getting their first credit cards and opening savings accounts. Scams can harm your credit score if they go undetected. 

Where in the UK has the highest rates of fraud?

The research shows that 51% of people in Cardiff have experienced fraud, making it the UK city with the highest rates. Birmingham follows, with 50% of residents experiencing fraud at some point. 

The best place to avoid fraudsters? Southampton, where only 15% of people surveyed have experienced fraud. However, scams affect people across the UK, so it’s important to be vigilant wherever you are.

How can I protect myself from fraud?

Sadly, there’s no way to stay 100% safe from fraudsters. That said, there are a few things you can do to keep your money safer and avoid online scams. 

  • If you receive an unexpected phone call from your bank or credit card provider, don’t assume it’s genuine. Instead, hang up and call the number on your card or statement.
  • When you’re paying by card, keep an eye on your card at all times. Don’t let anyone take it away to complete a transaction.
  • Never share your account details, password or PIN with anyone, even if you trust them. 
  • Don’t click on links in text messages or emails without checking they’re genuine.   

Finally, remember to check your bank or credit card statements regularly. Tell your bank immediately if you notice anything unusual.



From phishing to text scams, fraud is a huge problem in the UK. Stay vigilant, keep your details safe, and trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, there’s probably a reason. 

Have you been targeted by fraudsters? If so, contact your bank or credit card company. They can block your card and, sometimes, help you get your money back. It’s also worth reaching out to Action Fraud and reporting what’s happened. That way, you can help others avoid the same scam! 

The post The most common types of fraud in the UK revealed appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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