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Fraudsters want to take what you have worked hard to earn. The scale of fraud will astound you. Not only does it affect individuals, but private, public and charity sectors too. It is estimated that total losses are around £52bn every year! Of this amount £9.1bn is lost by individuals. So, let’s be clear about what fraud is. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as:
The forms of fraud you are likely to be most conscious of are those typically directed against individuals, although it’s clear that at the end of the day we all pick up the tab for fraud committed against government (they have to recover it through taxes) and private sector companies (they recover it through higher prices). So while fraud is a drag on the economy the most painful form of fraud is that which targets you directly:
|Mass-marketing fraud||telephone calls, letters, emails, text messages||£3.5bn|
|Identity fraud/theft||misuse of personal information||£3.3bn|
|Online ticket fraud||bogus websites where tickets never materialise||£1.5bn|
|Private rental Property fraud||a type of advanced fee scam against would-be tenants||£0.8bn|
In general the losses suffered by individuals are proportionately greater than those suffered by government or the private sector. On average 1% of a family’s net income is lost to fraud1 – so a typical UK family with an after-tax income of £30,000 could be losing the equivalent of £300 per year from fraud! Hopefully fraud has never touched you, but it is estimated that in excess of 10% of adults are victims of fraud of one form or another each year! There is a growing risk that you too could become a victim of fraud. It pays to protect yourself as much as you can.
You may not like this but in today’s society it is sensible to remain suspicious and a little distrustful. It’s an old adage, but if any offer made to you seems too good to be true then it probably is.
Top 10 tips from ActionFraud.Police.UK
If you believe that you have become the victim of fraud or you think you have uncovered a scam then it is important that you report it. Since April 2013 all fraud needs to be reported to Action Fraud. Reporting it will help the authorities to tackle what is a growing menace.
To report fraud:
This infographic from ActionFraud helps to explain how the information you provide is used to combat fraud – we all owe it to each other to do our bit. So, report it.
The risk of fraud is significant and the potential loss from a scam or fraud can be substantial. But by actively taking precautions you can help to reduce the risk you face every day. If you do suffer from a scam or lose money by any form of fraud don’t shy away from reporting it. By reporting it you can help to gradually stamp it out.
1 National Fraud Authority “Annual Fraud Indicator 2013”
About Solution-Loans.co.uk: we are a no-fee online-only broker dedicated to providing customers with the information and tools to help them identify the personal finance product that is right for them.
Amanda Gillam is Solution Loans's General Manager and has been since 2009. She is also a prolific writer on personal finance issues, and has been quoted numerous times in articles published on 3rd party websites and in press releases. Her...Read about Amanda Gillam
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