Fraud is now officially the most common crime people are likely to fall victim to, according to new figures revealed today.
In the most authoritative official estimate of the scale of the offences, new Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures unearth an estimated 3.8 million cases of fraud and two million computer misuse offences. This suggests the overall crime rate could be almost double the level previously reported.
When we recently carried out our own research into email scams we asked over 1,000 members of the public if they could spot the difference between real and spoof emails, we found that many people were fooled by more sophisticated scams.
Today’s ONS findings reveal that people are 20 times more likely to become a victim of fraud than they are of robbery.
The ONS found that bank and credit account fraud were found to be the most common crimes committed, with 2.5 million incidents, followed by ’non-investment‘ fraud, such as scams related to online shopping.
Fraud costs the British public £9bn annually and is hugely under-reported. While there are sensible steps we can take to protect ourselves, we feel that an unfair burden has been placed on the public.
Our Director of Policy and Campaigns, Alex Neill said:
‘For the first time, the shocking scale of people hit by cybercrime and fraud has been revealed.
‘With cybercrime becoming increasingly sophisticated, even the savviest people can be scammed, so it’s vital that businesses up their game in the fight against fraud.’
‘The new Home Secretary must ensure that the government’s Joint Fraud Taskforce investigates whether businesses are taking enough responsibility when their customers are defrauded.’
Help us put pressure on the government to take action on scams, please sign our petition.