Latest research from Experian claims fraud is now the UK’s most common criminal offence, much to the dismay of thugs and hoodlums everywhere.

The private sector was the worst affected by fraud, with the economy taking a £140bn hit, according to research by The Annual Fraud Indicator (AFI) 2017.

Additionally, fraud within the public sector cost the nation £40.3bn, while charities lost £2.3bn and fraud targeting individuals amounted to £6.8bn.

The research, conducted by Crowe Clark Whitehill, Experian and University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies, showed a “significant proportion” of costs to the private sector came from procurement fraud.

The company’s Annual Fraud Indicator 2017 estimates the annual cost of fraud in the UK is £190 billion, exceeding the total Gross Domestic product of 148 out of 191 countries on the planet. Splitting it down, private sector fraud costs the UK economy £140 billion over the course of 2017, while it is only £40.3 billion in the public sector.

“Awareness of the dangers fraud poses is growing, but the total of £190 billion is startlingly high,” said Nick Mothershaw, Director of Fraud and Identity Solutions at Experian. “Plastic card and online banking fraud continues to increase, so new regulations which make it harder for fraudsters to use someone’s cards online are a necessary step.

“Fraudsters are shamelessly opportunistic and are now turning their attention to the pensions release, lured by the promise of high value returns when their scams are successful.”

Procurement has been pinned down as the biggest sucker for fraud, but the report notes new technologies are opening up new opportunities for the tricksters. Online Banking fraud has grown by 226% and Telephone Banking Fraud by 178% in the past year, with millennials getting caught out as well.


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