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New Fraud Report: UK leads the rest of the world in digital fraud prevention

Latest UK cybercrime figures reveal a decline in both human (-14%) and bot fraud attacks (down by a third, 29%) targeting the UK.
North America’s fraud attack rate (1.9%) is nearly ten-fold that of the UK’s.
Globally, digital fraud attack rates grew by 19%, but the UK’s remained flat. 


LONDON — Global digital fraud attack rates continued climbing in 2023, increasing 19% year-over-year, according to the latest annual Cybercrime Report from LexisNexis® Risk Solutions.  

Yet UK figures reveal a decline in both human (-14%) and bot attack volumes (down by a third, 29%) showing signs that the UK could be turning the tide on digital fraud attacks.

The report also indicates that criminals are changing tack in the face of improving fraud defences, with bonus abuse fraud increasing five-fold and overtaking scams as the most prevalent UK attack type.

Overall, the UK attack rate was just 0.2% of all transactions (c. 184 million attacks) compared to 1.5% globally. North America’s attack rate was nearly ten-fold that of the UK’s at 1.9%.

Attacks as a proportion of overall UK transactions remained flat since 2022 at 0.2%, despite an annual rise in UK transaction volumes of 16%.

The annual Cybercrime Report analysed data from 92 billion global transactions processed through the LexisNexis® Digital Identity Network® platform, from January to December 2023. Around a fifth (18 billion) of those transactions were UK based.

Rob Woods, Director of Fraud and Identity Strategy at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, said: “The UK’s favourable position is in large part due to volumes of ‘trusted’ customer traffic accessing UK digital banking services, particularly via mobile app. It is also in part thanks to UK institutions being ahead of the curve in adopting sophisticated tech-based fraud prevention solutions, which helps catch much of the traditional, large-scale third-party fraud that remains an issue in most other parts of the world.

“However, inevitably other fraud types will fill this vacuum, including First Party Fraud and Synthetic Identity Fraud.”

Analysing the data by attack type, bonus abuse fraud has seen a five-fold increase in volume year on year in the UK, up from 6.4% of transactions in 2022, to almost a third (30%) of confirmed fraud in 2023. Scams represent another third (29%) of fraud events – down significantly from 38% in 2022 – with first-party fraud making up a quarter (24%). While synthetic fraud rose slightly in 2023, it represents a fraction of overall attacks, possibly due to challenges in recognising it.

Rob Woods continued: “These latest figures suggest the UK is leading the global charge against fraud, thanks to a well-developed ecosystem of sophisticated AI-driven technology protecting customers from incoming dangers. As a result, organised fraud networks may be intentionally avoiding the UK, instead targeting countries that present easier targets, with lower fraud defences. However, we can never afford to be complacent – the fight continues and as the data shows, fraudsters will never tire, constantly adapting to new attack typologies as the landscape changes. As an industry, we must push for more collaboration, working hand in hand with regulators and big tech companies to detect and stop the fraud at source, before it ever reaches the places where it can do the most harm.”

The LexisNexis® Risk Solutions Cybercrime Report delivers unique and actionable insights derived via advanced machine learning algorithms from the largest cross-industry network consortium in the world. In addition to fraud volumes the report includes exclusive insights into real fraud case studies observed within the network including:  

  • Mule Account classification – how machine learning models operating on data from the Digital Identity Network is used by UK banks to discern mule types by focusing on key metrics such as account age and activity, alongside other digital identity attributes.
  • Remote Scam Centres Drive Fraud – How device data, including high-altitude behavioural biometrics telemetry, revealed dedicated scam centres hidden in remote mountainous regions of south-east Asia, including Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand.

Please request a copy of the annual Cybercrime Report by email or reach out to the media contact.

The LexisNexis Cybercrime Report analyses a subset of 92 billion transactions, excluding non-transaction-based events such as feedback data and test transactions, as well as transactions from organisations considered outliers based on extremely high or zero recorded reject rates to calculate overall transaction volumes globally and by region.

About LexisNexis Risk Solutions

LexisNexis® Risk Solutions harnesses the power of data, sophisticated analytics platforms and technology solutions to provide insights that help businesses across multiple industries and governmental entities reduce risk and improve decisions to benefit people around the globe. Headquartered in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we have offices throughout the world and are part of RELX (LSE: REL/NYSE: RELX), a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. For more information, please visit. For more information, please visit LexisNexis Risk Solutions and RELX.

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