The UK has been crowned the card fraud capital of Europe, with more victims and higher losses experienced than any of its continental peers.
The data comes from analysis of the European Central Bank's Statistical Data Warehouse, sourced from all reporting card payment scheme operators for 2019.
The figures, collated by the Social market Foundation, show the UK way out in front of its European neighbours in number of victims (134 for every thousand inhabitants) and losses (£8,833.20 per one thousand people).
The value of fraud is more than £2000 higher in the UK than the second ranked country, France, and contrasts sharply with Spain, Germany and Italy by a far greater order of magnitude.
According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, between April 2021 and March 2022 there were 2.3 million “bank and card frauds”, comprising 51% of the total recorded frauds committed against residents during the period.
The SMF has called on the Government to adopt a “comprehensive whole-systems” approach to address fraud, starting with recruiting more specialist staff that are trained to handle complex crime.
Richard Hyde, SMF Senior Researcher, says: “Britain’s shocking record on card fraud compared to major European economies is yet another reminder of how UK law enforcement has failed to keep up with the epidemic. Policymakers need to reflect further on why we’re at this stage.
“Solving the crisis will take more than just increased police staff. Whilst specialist staff will certainly play a crucial role, the entire fraud law enforcement landscape needs an overhaul - with reforms that will transform the system and enact lasting change.
“There is no time to delay - fraud and economic crime is evolving to be more difficult to investigate and solve - so policymakers must start to make comprehensive system changes now.”