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BPFI data shows increase in payment fraud in ireland

Fraudsters stole nearly €85 million (€84.6m) through frauds and scams in Ireland during 2022, an increase of 8.8% on 2021, according to a detailed report published by FraudSMART, the fraud awareness initiative led by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).

The FraudSMART Payment Fraud Report H2 2022 outlines how card fraud accounted for over 95% of fraudulent payment transactions by volume but only 40% of fraud losses at €33.4m.

Most of the increase was driven by online card fraud or ‘card not present’ fraud where a criminal uses the victim’s compromised card information to make an online purchase (up by 24% in value year-on-year to €27.1m in 2022).

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% of fraud losses at €32.8m, but less than 4% of transaction volumes. Meanwhile, there was a 19% decrease in authorised push payment (APP fraud) transactions in 2022 compared to 2021, and APP fraud losses dropped by 41% to €9.9m, the lowest value since the data became available in 2019.

The report comes as FraudSMART warns consumers to be on high alert as text message fraud, known as smishing, continues to become more prevalent. A recent survey by FraudSMART revealed that this type of fraud is now the dominant channel for fraud attempts, with 1 in 2 adults having received fraudulent text message in the previous 12 months. These text messages often include a link and sense of urgency requiring immediate action.

Niamh Davenport, Head of Financial Crime, BPFI said: “[The] figures show that card fraud continues to account for the vast majority of fraudulent payment transactions at 95% of the total volume although these transactions tend to represent lower levels of losses on average. On the other hand, other fraud types have relatively low volumes but would have higher average losses, particularly any fraud that leads to account takeover where the fraudster takes control of your main bank account by tricking you into handing over your bank log in details, which we have seen recently through text message scams.

“Conversely, we also see from today’s report that there was a 19% decrease in authorised push payment (APP fraud) transactions in 2022 compared to 2021. APP fraud can happen when a scammer tricks a consumer into sending money directly from their account to an account which the criminal controls. Examples of this include investment scams such as fake cryptocurrency schemes or romance, holiday or accommodation scams. The decrease in this type of fraud might be attributed to increased consumer awareness or a post-Covid shift, as we have gradually returned to meeting in-person with decreased dependency on online communication. However, figures across all types of financial fraud can fluctuate as fraudsters continually adapt their behaviours and methods.

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