Tag: fraud

Fraud Hotspots

Analysis of types of fraud by county shows marked differences across the UK.

Based on reports to Action Fraud over the past two years, London is the capital of online shopping and auction fraud, with 17 reports per 10,000 people, compared with a national average of 13.

It also has the highest reported rate for ticket fraud and investment scams.

Norfolk, had the highest reported rate for computer fixing fraud. 15.8 reports were recorded per 10,000 people in the past two years, well above the national average of 5.9.

Residents of Sussex made the most reports of dating scams.

The most common fraud types are shown in the table below with the county recording the highest number of incidents.


Fraud type Police force Number of reports per 10,000 people National average reports per 10,000 people
Retail/consumer fraud Essex 12.7 11.3
Cheque, plastic card and online bank fraud Essex 12.2 5.4
Hacking: social media and email Hertfordshire 3.5 2.5
Online shopping and auctions London (Metropolitan) 17 13
Ticket fraud London (Metropolitan) 4.5 2.2
Investment fraud London (Metropolitan) 1.9 1.3
Computer fixing fraud Norfolk 10.3 5.9
Fake loan fraud Northamptonshire 1.8 1.2
Mandate fraud Surrey 3.3 2
Computer virus attacks Surrey 2.5 1.9
Bogus tradespeople Surrey 3.2 1.8
Dating scams Sussex 1.9 1.1
Advance fee fraud Warwickshire 15.8 11.9

Source: Which? analysis of Action Fraud data between 2017-18 and 2018-19

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Statistics on Fraud



Government statistics on fraud include analysis by age, qualifications, ethnic group etc. for the year 2016

Age Group Overall (%) Men (%) Women (%)
16-24 4.8 4.8 4.8
25-34 7.9 7.1 8.6
35-44 7.7 8.4 7.1
45-54 7.5 6.7 8.3
55-64 6.4 7.1 5.6
65-74 4.9 5.3 4.5
74+ 3.3 4.4 2.4


You can see from these figures that the age group with the highest incidence of fraud is the 25 – 54 year olds. There could be many reason for this but the most obvious is that this group is likely the most financially active and hence there are more occasions where they can be defrauded.

The separate figures for men and women are roughly the same and show nearly the same pattern by age.

The government statistics also include analysis by marital status and this shows little difference between marrieds and unmarried, except for much lower reports of fraud for widowed people. This is likely to be for the reason that this is largely an older group of people and hence less financially active on average.

The analysis by occupation is interesting in that the greatest incidence of fraud is for those in the professional / managerial group. This may be due to these people being more likely to be involved with investments, overseas properties, visits to major events around the world etc. which create more opportunities to be victims of fraud.

There are various other analyses of the data and the analysis by highest qualification achieved shows highest levels of fraud for those with a degree or equivalent.  This may be due to these people having a higher level of income or can you think of a more likely reason?

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The Impact of Fraud on Victims

As part of the government’s annual figures on fraud, they include ‘experimental’ figures of different ways to analyse the data.  This includes statistics on the emotional and physical impact of fraud.

These show that where there has been financial loss, the most common effects are:-

  1. To feel ashamed, embarrassed or to blame oneself
  2. Loss of time / inconvenience
  3. Stopped using specific websites
  4. Time off work
  5. Physical health problems

Where there has been full or partial reimbursement of losses, there is a lot less of the negative feelings of embarrassment, shame and self-blame.

However, many people do not report any such symptoms.

If you are a victim of fraud – do not blame yourself as the fraudsters get a lot of practice in such deceit and successfully deceive people of all ages, races, level of education and expertise.

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Fraud and Cybercrime 2016


Get Safe Online and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau have released fraud and cybercrime figures for 2016.

These show that £10.9 billion was lost to the UK economy as a result of fraud in 2016. This figure rises every year.

The estimate for the average cost for each person defrauded is around £520, but in some cases it is very large sums of money.

The figures show that 39% of people defrauded do not report the crime so the official fraud figures are lower than the reality.

The report also shows that many people do not follow basic security e.g. updating their anti-virus software regularly, using different passwords for separate accounts, being careful with the information they post on social media, only using secure Wi-Fi , deleting email from unknown sources etc.

We all need to take more care over basic online security.

There is a summary of the report at


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(the guy in the photo looks a bit like Reddington in The Blacklist but I don’t think it’s him)

There’s a very useful article on privacy at www.cloudwards.net/online-privacy-guide/


UK Payments Fraud in 2015


Fraud is a huge industry with countless victims and it’s getting worse.

Financial fraud losses across payment cards, remote banking and cheques totalled £755 million in 2015, an increase of 26 per cent compared to 2014.

Prevented fraud totalled £1.76 billion in 2015. This is incidents that were detected and prevented by the banks and card companies and is equivalent to £7 in every £10 of attempted fraud being stopped.

Card Fraud can be split up as follows:-

70% is remote purchases – i.e. where stolen card details are used

13% is lost and stolen –

2% is card not received i.e. the card is stolen in transit

8% is counterfeit cards

7% is card ID theft – the fraudster uses the person’s identity information to get their card details

All of these frauds are rising except for counterfeit cards which is probably dropping as a result of chip and pin technology.

We all need to be more aware then ever of these scams and how to avoid them.

Further information available at http://www.financialfraudaction.org.uk/cms/assets/1/2015%20year%20end%20fraud%20update%20report.pdf