UK Records £319M Fraud Value in 2019’s First Half


According to a recent report which considered fraud cases valued over £100,000, and published by the KPMG, a total value of £319 million fraud cases was recorded in the United Kingdom in the first half of 2019. The KPMG fraud cases Barometer also estimated that Midland had total fraud cases valued £81 million in the same period.

Although the recorded fraud cases were high, it was a 13% decrease in the recorded cases in the first half of 2018. In 2018, there was a total of 249 cases which saw a total value of £349 million. In 2019, the recorded fraud cases were 217 with a value of £319.

According to the report, Midland experienced an increase in recorded fraud cases with a total of 42 in the first half of the year against 38 in the same period of 2018. It was reported that businesses were the major targets with 11 cases valued £48 million. The KPMG report further stated that the government sector recorded 11 cases valued £22.6 million in the first half of 2019 in Midland.

Fraud cases

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As claimed by the Barometer report, the continuous increase in fraud cases in Midland and across the United Kingdom is partly linked to the commercialization of cybercrime. In recent times, cybercrime has been given the space, most especially, on the dark web for advertisement. It was stated that a cybercriminal was even hired to attack a communication company in Liberia offline by a rival company. Most of these criminals get interesting offers on the dark web to hack into companies.

The report further stated that the first half of the year saw a 57% increase in account takeovers. This saw hackers using phishing method and other techniques to get access to credit cards and bank accounts of victims. Most of these techniques were launched through SMS, Emails, and Apps.
The report also revealed another trend which is a cause for concern.

According to the report, there was a repeated trend of fraud cases offenders going back to court. It wad said that there were four cases of individuals who were previously convicted of fraud cases, and had been sent back to court under new charges which valued £2.7 million. In 2016, a man 57, appeared at the Leicester Crown Court and asked for more time to repay a tax fraud debt of £107,000. Investigation revealed that the man attempted to engage in a fraudulent act in another business that was supposed to earn him £580,000 to pay his tax fraud debt.

Fraud cases

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Roy Waligora, KPMG UK Head of Investigations stated that though authorities are taking measures and ensuring anyone found guilty in fraud cases are prosecuted, the reward for such acts is too good to resist as some of them would still commit such crimes despite the consequences. He also cautioned companies to be careful with the people they hire into a financial-related position and filling roles. He advised organizations to conduct effective due diligence on people they hire.

In 2018, it was reported that a total of £190,000 is lost by cybercrime victims in a day in the U.K. The number of incidents recorded in the country gets worse year after year. Between April and September 2018, a total of £314.6 million was stolen from cybercrime victims according to statistics. It was stated that this was a 24% increase in the recorded fraud cases value in the previous six months. Within the six months, about 13357 individuals were hit by cyber fraud. It was also estimated that over 5000 people were hacked through social media and email accounts. The value of the cases was estimated to be a little over $14 million.

Commander Karen Baxter earlier revealed that hackers are always targeting social media accounts to steal money and get access to personal data. Having personal data in the hands of cybercriminals can put victims at risk of identity theft. According to her statement, individuals should be suspicious of unsolicited requests of personal data and financial information. She also advised people not to follow suspicious links and be careful with the kind of calls they return.

Fraud cases have been a global headache as individuals, private and government organizations have been under constant attacks in recent years. The most recent of such attacks is the one launched against Stockx.

Experts have, therefore, advised organizations to invest in security to prevent cybercriminals from illegally getting access to sensitive data. Karen also advised that individuals should keep a strong password and separate other passwords from email. She further stated the need to use the latest software and app updates to limit the vulnerabilities and loopholes to prevent cybercriminals from taking advantage.

Source: East Midlands Business Link

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