Overall fraud levels increase by 20%
Data released by the Office of National Statistics this week show that Fraud offences reported in England & Wales grew substantially in the year to September 2021.
The most notable rise seen was in fraud involving Financial Investments (up 42% year on year), driven by a 59% increase in pyramid or ponzi schemes and a 57% increase in share or bond sale scams.
Other substantial increases were seen in computer-based fraud, with reported denial of service attacks increasing by 28% over the year, in fraud involving government grants which surged by 73%, and in insurance fraud which also saw a significant increase of 73%.
Mary Young, Fraud partner at law firm Kingsley Napley, said: “Fraudsters will always take advantage of uncertainty to exploit weaknesses wherever they find them. This can be in large or small companies or with individuals, particularly investors who are not necessarily savvy when it comes to their finances and have perhaps been spending longer online. Whilst a degree of normality may be returning to life, companies need to be vigilant and robust in dealing with instances of fraud in order to minimise financial losses. A regular audit of internal processes can highlight gaps in systems which might be exploited, and legal advice should be obtained as quickly as possible if there is any suspicion of fraud. Yet again things like dating scams and phone frauds show that fraudsters continue to pray on unsuspecting individuals. Requests for payment from people met online or from someone calling out of the blue should always be treated with suspicion.”