Data published by credit service agency Experian has suggested that fraudulent activity now costs the UK £190 billion per year.
The Annual Fraud Indicator 2017 found that fraud in the public sector costs the UK an estimated £40.3 billion, whilst fraud in the private sector costs the UK economy £140 billion.
Charities lost £2.3 billion as a result of fraud in 2017, while individuals have been duped out of £6.8 billion. The data revealed that fraud is currently the UK’s most common criminal offence.
Experian warned that technology ‘continues to open up new avenues for fraudulent activity’. Criminals’ behavioural patterns are also changing in response to the rise in popularity of online banking, the research revealed.
Nick Mothershaw, Director of Fraud and Identity Solutions at Experian, commented: ‘Awareness of the dangers fraud poses is growing, but the total of £190 billion is startlingly high. 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.’