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UK Loses £2.5Bn in Fraud and Cyber-Crime Cases During 2021

UK residents and businesses have seen financial losses of £2.5Bn from fraud and cyber-crime over the course of the past year, a new study reveals.

Research by leading chargeback firm and online trading scam specialists Payback Ltd analysed data drawn from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) to reveal that the UK has reported almost 500,000 cases of fraud and cyber-crime that have resulted in financial loss.

Spanning data from November 2020 to November 2021, it was found that the UK has reported an average 40,586 cases of fraud and cyber-crime per month, with an average financial loss of £5,700 per case. The height of cyber-crime activity appeared during the earlier months of the year. In February, the UK reported 47,800 cases equating to £267.6M in financial loss, while in March more than 48,500 cases amounted to losses of £219.3M.

Among the top five crime codes of reported cases in 2021, fraudulent activity using online shopping and auctions amounts to more than one hundred thousand reported cases through the year (100,168 in total) that amount to a value of £77.1M in financial loss. The overall umbrella of “consumer fraud” includes other criminal activity such as dating scams and bogus tradesmen, and accounts for £437.2M of the country’s losses this year.

Overall, fraud and cyber-crime cases relating to individual British residents account for 87% of the country’s total report volume. This translates to £1.8Bn of financial loss incurred over a reported 421,473 cases. Those aged 20-29 reported the most instances of criminal activity, with 82.2K reports made across the course of the year – followed closely by those aged 30-39, who clocked in 80.9K reports.

There have been 62,976 reports made by British businesses throughout 2021, equating to a total reported financial loss of £736.3m.

Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson for Payback Ltd stated: “It is difficult to see such high figures relating to fraudulent and criminal activity taking place over the course of the year. It is imperative that the British public exercise caution when making financial transactions of any kind, and to ensure that they are confident that any transactions are done via official, safe and legal means.”

This study was conducted by Payback Ltd, a global financial recovery company helping to get back money stolen by scammers for over 6,500 customers, and the only debt recovery service that successfully recovers money from cryptocurrency scams.


  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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