Some €85m lost through payment frauds and scams last year, says BPFI

Almost €85 million was stolen through payment frauds and scams in Ireland last year, an increase of 8.8 per cent on 2021, as the number of fraudulent transactions increased by 12.7 per cent.

This is according to latest Payment Fraud Report published by FraudSMART, the fraud awareness initiative of the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).

Card fraud accounted for 95 per cent of fraudulent payment transactions by volume in 2022, and the total amount stolen through card fraud last year jumped by 37 per cent, to €33.4 million.

FraudSMART noted that most of the increase in stolen funds was driven by online card fraud or “card not present” fraud. This is where a criminal uses the victim’s compromised card information to make an online purchase and was up 24 per cent last year, with a total of €27.1 million stolen through this means.

The report warned consumers to be on high alert for text message fraud or smishing, as a recent survey by FraudSMART revealed that half of adults in Ireland have received a fraudulent text message in the past 12 months.

The report also highlights the continued rise in value of unauthorised electronic transfers, primarily payments through mobile and online banking, which accounted for almost 39 per cent of fraud losses (€32.8 million) but less than 4 per cent of transaction volumes.

Meanwhile, there was a 19 per cent decrease in authorised push payment (APP fraud) transactions in 2022 compared to 2021. This is when a scammer tricks a consumer into sending money directly from their account to an account that the criminal controls.

APP fraud losses dropped by 41 per cent last year to €9.9 million, the lowest value since figures became available in 2019.

Niamh Davenport, Head of Financial Crime at BPFI, said that the decrease in APP fraud might be attributed to increased consumer awareness, or a post-Covid shift away from online communication.

However, she said “figures across all types of financial fraud can fluctuate as fraudsters continually adapt their behaviours and methods”.

“The truth is any of us can fall victim to fraudsters. Frauds and scams are becoming increasingly more complex and credible and are often undertaken by criminal gangs who run large scale operations,” she said.

If you receive a suspicious text message purporting to be from your bank, eFlow, the HSE, parcel delivery services or any other company, FraudSMART advises not to respond with personal information or click a link, especially if there is a sense of urgency to it.

Consumers are urged to contact the company independently if in doubt, and if details have been disclosed to a suspected scammer, report it to your bank and the Garda as soon as possible.


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