UK challenger banks see spike in alleged fraud cases as banks warn of "epidemic of scams"

Data supplied by scam reporting body Action Fraud shows Revolut and Monzo have seen a spike in alleged fraud cases between 2022 and 2023.
UK challenger banks see spike in alleged fraud cases as banks warn of

Two of the UK’s most well-known financial startups have seen a spike in alleged fraud cases, amid banks warning of an “epidemic of scams”, new data show.

The number of reports made to scam reporting body Action Fraud alleging fraud relating to Revolut accounts was up 27 per cent year on year to 9,159 cases in 2023, data shows.

The data also shows that the number of reports alleging fraud relating to Monzo accounts was up 23 per cent year on year to 4,466.

But the data also shows alleged fraud cases relating to Starling Bank accounts were down 34 per cent on the year to 646.

The spike in alleged fraud cases comes as financial institutions warn of a major spike in online financial crime, with much of it taking place on social media, online marketplaces and dating apps.

The Action Fraud data encompasses individuals who had bogus accounts set up in their name and those who had stolen money channelled through a fraudster's account.

Other cases of fraud include victims receiving phone calls from fraudsters impersonating banks, warning them that their accounts has been hacked and system breaches.

TSB, Barclays and NatWest have also warned of an increase in scammers. 

The amount of fraud committed in the UK more than doubled to £2.32bn in 2023, which marked the second biggest year for scams in the last two decades, according to accountancy firm BDO.

The Action Fraud data, requested by, comes via a key word search.

Action Fraud, which is the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, is a self-reporting service, whereby the public reports scams via an online self-reporting tool. The reports might not have been verified by authorities, it stresses.

A Revolut spokesperson said : "Revolut takes fraud and the industry-wide risk of customers being coerced by organised criminals, incredibly seriously. We have robust protections in place for our millions of customers and analyse over half a billion transactions a month.

“Our security features include AI models, over 4,000 trained anti-financial crime professionals as well as experienced data scientists. Where we detect signs of fraud, we intervene and investigate, and where customers do fall victim to fraud, we have front-line staff on hand 24/7 to provide support. In 2023, we prevented over £475m of potential fraud against our customers.”

Image: Mikhail Nilov

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