Posted on January 24, 2017 by staff

Fraud tops a billion pounds as cyber crime soars


The value of fraud committed in the UK last year rose to a record value of £1.1 billion on the back of a huge increase in cyber crime.

Accountants KPMG reported the 55 per cent year-on-year rise and issued a warning about large-scale cyber scams.

It was the first time the value of fraud going through the court system had topped £1bn since 2011.

Hitesh Patel, UK forensic partner at KPMG, said: “The figures for 2016 tell us two things.

“Firstly, that we can expect more of these super frauds as challenging economic circumstances place pressures on businesses and individuals and as technology becomes more sophisticated.

“Secondly, that this is going to put even more strain on law enforcement agencies who don’t have the resources to investigate every report of fraud that they receive: getting the large, often cross-border and complex frauds to court is extremely time consuming and resource intensive.

“This places much more emphasis on businesses and consumers to protect themselves from fraudsters who will take advantage given the opportunity.”

The UK head of tech at KPMG yesterday welcomed the Government’s focus on technology as part of a £556 million investment into the North’s industrial future.

KMPG reported that seven ‘super cases’, with a value of £50m or over, contributed £900m to the overall figure. The number of individual instances of fraud was lower than the year before.

One ‘super case’ was a £113m cold-calling scam targeting Royal Bank of Scotland customers for which Feezan Hameed was handed an 11-year jail sentence in September.

Patel continued: “Through the rapid rise of technology and online platforms, more people than ever are being targeted by fraudsters who have unrestricted access to a larger pool of victims.

“However, we are also seeing the internet being used by consumers who are being tempted to obtain goods and services that they have, or perhaps should have, a fair idea are not legitimate.”

TechUK recently launched a set of high level principles designed to help build public confidence in the Internet of Things after a number of high-profile incidents saw IoT devices and sensors compromised by cyber criminals.