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THE RISE OF THE SCAMMERS; HOW FRAUD OFFENCES IN ENGLAND AND WALES ARE AT A RECORD HIGH.

Byline: ALICE CACHIA

THE NUMBER of fraud offences recorded by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) is at an all-time high.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that some 653,468 offences were recorded in England and Wales between June 2016 and July 2017.

Computer rose by 70 2015/16 That's a 37 per cent increase from the 476,403 fraud offences recorded in 2011/12.

Banking and credit card fraud remains the most common, with 382,128 offences recorded in 2016/17.

This includes plastic card, cheque, and online bank account fraud, as well as application fraud, which is when an account is opened using fake or stolen documents in the victim's name to defraud them.

Computer misuse fraud offences increased by an alarming 70 per cent from the year previously to 21,062 incidents.

misuse crime per cent from 2016/17 This type of fraud includes hacking, accessing unauthorised information and sending viruses.

An NFIB spokesperson said: "Computer misuse fraud is a highly profitable crime-type which often targets the most vulnerable in our society and criminals will often use the names of reputable companies to lull victims into a false sense of security.

"The scale on which such crimes are committed is allowing offenders to rapidly react to and take advantage of environmental changes, which poses a difficulty for law enforcement as they try to combat this."

There has also been a significant increase in advance fee payment fraud.

This is when scammers promise victims that if they pay an advance fee they'll receive a product or service in return.

Often they'll use realistic email addresses and websites to lure in unsuspecting victims.

In 2016/17, there were 48,562 examples of this recorded by NFIB, up from the 30,937 the year previously.

While fraudulent offences rose overall, there were some categories that saw a decrease in offences.

Fraud in the telecom industry dropped by 43 per cent in a year. It fell from 49,782 offences to 28,443.

Fraud remains in the BANKING This type of fraud includes mobile phone fraud, when victims may be drawn into text message scams or missed call scams which end up costing them money.

Despite the fall in some areas of fraud, the NFIB warned of an increasing use of technology as a gateway for scammers.

The spokesperson added: "Criminals are making use of technology as evidenced by the increasing use of online pop-ups. This has resulted in the target age group for this offence slowly shifting from the most vulnerable in society to young people online who might click on a link, generating the pop-up gateway to the offence."

highest and credit industry

CAPTION(S):

Computer misuse crime rose by 70 per cent from 2015/16 to 2016/17

Fraud remains highest in the banking and credit industry

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 26, 2018
Words:473
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