FraudSMART Payment Fraud Report 2023

Latest figures show fraudsters stole almost €100m through frauds and scams in 2023 as holiday makers warned to be extra vigilant for card fraud over the summer season – FraudSMART Payment Fraud Report

  • Card fraud accounted for 95% of the volume of fraudulent payment transactions
  • Unauthorised electronic transfers (primarily transfers through mobile and online banking) accounted for only 3% of the volume but 34% (€33.8 million) of losses
  • Customers scammed out of €18.1m through authorised push payments
  • FraudSMART issues warning to holiday makers to be extra vigilant with their credit and debit cards when booking flights and accommodation over the summer season

Thursday 30th May 2024 – Fraudsters stole almost €100 million (€98.6m) through frauds and scams in 2023, an increase of over 16% (16.4%) on 2022, according to a new report published today by FraudSMART, the fraud awareness initiative led by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).

The Payment Fraud Report, based on data from FraudSMART members*, reveals that card fraud accounted for 95% of fraudulent transactions and 36% (€35.2 million) of gross fraud losses in 2023. Card usage by consumers and businesses rose significantly overall, with the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) reporting a 28.8% increase in debit and credit card payments in 2023. In contrast, fraudulent card payments increased by 8.2% according to FraudSMART data.

The report also notes that other types of fraud had lower volumes but higher average losses. Unauthorised electronic transfers accounted for only 3% of the volume but 34% (€33.8 million) of losses. This type of fraud occurs when someone makes a payment through mobile or online banking, without the account holder’s authorisation or permission, often called ‘account takeover’. It usually results from the loss or theft of sensitive payment data such as a victim’s account number or PIN.

Additionally, the report shows that consumers and businesses were scammed out of €18.1 million through authorised push payment (APP fraud). This occurs when a fraudster tricks a consumer into sending money directly to an account controlled by the criminal, for example through an investment or romance scam. While APP Fraud makes up just 1% of fraudulent transactions and 18% of losses, it represents a significant increase compared to 2022 in both volume and value terms (42.5% and 82.2% respectively).

On foot of today’s report and the dominance of card fraud highlighted, FraudSMART is today issuing a warning to holiday makers to be extra vigilant over the summer period at home and abroad when they may be using their debit or credit cards more frequently for booking travel or accommodation, as well as other holiday-related purchases, and is calling on consumers to familiarise themselves of the simple steps they can take to prevent falling victim to fraud.

Speaking about the latest figures and the importance of being alert this summer, Niamh Davenport, Head of Financial Crime, BPFI said: “As many people look forward to the summer holidays ahead, today’s figures are a timely reminder to be on alert for credit and debit card fraud. We can all be at risk of being enticed by ‘unbelievable’ holiday deals and letting down our guard when out of our regular routines and environments. While it is important to recognise that cards remain one of the safest forms of payment, as they come with extensive fraud protections and offer many conveniences especially when planning holidays and travelling, fraudsters are increasingly targeting consumers using complex and deceptive methods.”

“FraudSMART is urging holiday makers to take extra caution when booking travel, accommodation and other holiday-related purchases such as eating out. Watch out for copycat websites offering holiday accommodation and packages which closely mimic a legitimate site or well-known company brand but may have subtle differences in the website name and often have spelling errors. These sites aim to steal your card details and personal information for fraudulent activities. Also, be alert for fake emails and social media ads offering holiday deals which appear to be offering bargain prices but are in reality too good to be true. When paying in person, never let your card out of sight, such as at a restaurant, and don’t share or write down your card PIN. If you think you have fallen victim to fraud report it to your bank and the Gardaí immediately.”

Top FraudSMART tips and checks for protecting your card details this summer:

  • Book through reputable sources, always use trusted and well-known booking websites or travel agents.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited emails or social media ads offering cheap holiday deals. Verify the authenticity of special offers by visiting the official website of the travel company directly rather than clicking on links in emails or ads.  
  • Avoid making payments through bank transfers as these are harder to trace and recover.
  • Do not use unsecured or public Wi-Fi networks when making payments – switch to 3G/4G on your phone if necessary.
  • Keep a record of your purchase, print or save a copy of your order.
  • Keep your computer’s security up to date with reliable antivirus and browser software.
  • Keep your card in your sights and protect your PIN – never share or write down your PIN details.

Consumers can access a wealth of other advice on how to avoid fraud by visiting and signing up for email alerts on current risks and trends.


Note to Editors

*The FraudSMART members currently contributing data for the Payment Fraud Report are AIB, Avant Money, Bank of Ireland and PTSB.

Data Series: All payment fraud data from 2019 onwards is available in Microsoft Excel format (*.xls) here.


Unauthorised payment fraud happens when a payment is made by another person without the account holder’s authorisation or permission. An example of this is when someone falls victim to a scam such as a text message scam which results in the loss, theft, or misappropriation of sensitive payment data (such as account numbers and PINs). The resulting transactions tend to be of higher value.

Authorised push payment (APP) fraud, also called manipulation of the payer, happens where a fraudster tricks a person or business to instruct their payment service provider, such as their bank, to send money from their account to an account controlled by that fraudster. APP fraud data includes electronic credit transfer payments only.

Smishing occurs when fraudsters send text messages to random phone numbers, claiming to come from a reputable organisation such as a bank, card issuer or a service provider. The message will typically ask you to click on a link to a website or to call a phone number in order to “verify”, “update” or to “reactivate” your account. The website link leads to a bogus website and the phone number leads to a fraudster pretending to be the legitimate company. The criminal attempts to get you to disclose personal, financial or security information.

About FraudSMART: FraudSMART is a fraud awareness initiative developed by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) in conjunction with the following member banks, Allied Irish Bank plc, Bank of Ireland, KBC Bank Ireland, Permanent TSB, Ulster Bank, An Post Money and Barclays. The programme aims to raise consumer and business awareness of the latest financial fraud activity and trends and provide simple and impartial advice on how best they can protect themselves and their resources.

BPFI: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland. Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has over 125 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Contact: Fiona Murphy, Head of Communications, 087 9740046 or Jillian Heffernan, Director of Communications, 087 9016880.

The FraudSMART Payment Fraud Report 2023 is available for download below in PDF format.