APP fraud against businesses soars

Jul 4, 2024

Authorised push payment (APP) fraud against UK businesses rose 8% last year, causing significant concern in the payments industry. In 2023, businesses lost £83.3 million to APP fraud, the highest amount since the pandemic, with only £30.8m recovered-a 2% decrease from 2022.

In 2020, £73.3m was stolen, with £27.4m recovered, while in 2022, £77m was lost, with £31.5m repaid.

APP fraud involves victims being tricked into sending money to fraudsters, often through malicious redirection, where scammers impersonate trusted individuals or businesses.

Despite the rise in stolen amounts, the number of cases has dropped by 2,000 since 2020, when there were 9,407 confirmed cases. The Payment Association's Annual Fraud Report 2024 highlights APP fraud as the most damaging type, with 27% of respondents agreeing. Overall, APP fraud losses for businesses and consumers totalled £459.7m in 2023, a 5% decrease from 2022. Consumer losses fell by 8% to £376.4m.

Since 2020, APP fraud cases have significantly increased by nearly 50,000, valued at £30m. Of the £460m stolen in 2023, £287.3m was returned to victims, with £256.4m going to consumers.

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) mandated in December that payment service providers are liable for APP fraud losses on their platforms. Consequently, 70% of providers have implemented additional measures to combat the issue, such as re-evaluating customer risk and assessing transactions.

Payment fraud losses in 2023 totalled £1.17 billion across 2.97m cases, equivalent to 64p stolen for every £1 attempted. This marks a decrease of £1.31bn since the pandemic peak in 2021.

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