Fraud cases soar by a QUARTER in just two years, data shows

Fraud cases soar by a QUARTER in just two years after rise in ‘money up front’ scams, data shows

  • Research found there were 4.5million fraud offences in the year to March 2022
  • The proportion of fraud offences classed as cyber-related rose by 6 per cent 
  • About three-quarters of those who lost money had less than £250 stolen

THE number of fraud cases has increased by 25 per cent to 4.5million since 2020, figures reveal.

There was a large rise in the number of scams in which money was paid up front in return for cash, a job, goods or services that failed to materialise, the Office for National Statistics reported.

About three-quarters of those who lost money had less than £250 stolen, 14 per cent were conned out of between £250 and £999 and 9 per cent lost £1,000 or more.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales – a poll of the public – showed that there were 4.5million fraud offences in the year to March 2022, up 25 per cent on two years earlier. Computer hacking also more than doubled to 1.3million offences.

About three-quarters of those who lost money had less than £250 stolen, 14 per cent were conned out of between £250 and £999 and 9 per cent lost £1,000 or more

The rise in fraud was also reflected in police-recorded crime, with a 17 per cent rise in the year to March 2021 compared to the previous 12 months, and a 25 per cent increase in the year to March 2022 compared to two years earlier.

The proportion of fraud offences classed as cyber-related also rose from 53 per cent in the year to March 2020, to 61 per cent in the year to March 2022, the crime survey showed.

Computer misuse increased by 89 per cent to 1.6million offences between the year to March 2020 and March 2022, driven by a surge in criminals accessing personal information.

The most common method was phishing messages, mostly pretending to be from a delivery company or bank.

Action Fraud, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, reported an 11 per cent fall in fraud to 354,758 offences in the year to March 2022 compared to the previous year.

This was fuelled by a drop in reported consumer and retail fraud.

UK Finance, which represents the banking industry, reported a 151 per cent rise in fraud to 246,285 offences in the same time period, although this was put down to increased reporting by existing members and reports coming in from new members who joined in late 2021.

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