Feeds

Fraud cases breached £1bn level in 2007

UK.gov = number one victim

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Organised gangs pushed the value of fraud to a 12-year high last year, with the UK government being the largest victim of their criminal activities, according to a new survey.

KPMG Forensic, which has been monitoring fraud levels for 20 years, said today that the total value of cases heard by UK courts in 2007 - £1.02bn - was the highest recorded since 1995.

It's a huge leap from the previous year's £221m figure. Despite that, the number of fraud cases was in fact down from 277 in 2006 to 197 for the year.

Organised gangs made up close to 90 per cent, or £889m, of all fraud cases brought to crown courts in 2007.

The government proved to be the most lucrative target for fraudsters involved in identity theft rings, benefit scams and VAT fraud, with the value of 68 cases totalling an eye-popping £833m.

Carousel fraud continued to account for a huge number of losses to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) last year.

KPMG said it was too early to call on whether or not the reverse charging scheme introduced by HMRC last summer to crack down on the growing EU-wide VAT scam involving mobile phones and computer chips would have any "material impact", or if criminals would simply target other small tech goods.

It's also worth remembering that KPMG's figures only cover cases that make it to the courts. Treasury estimates of the amount lost to VAT fraud alone have ranged as high as £3bn.

Meanwhile, fraud against banks dropped significantly to £37m from more than £140m in 2006. Companies also saw a decrease, suffering £24m fraud losses compared to £81m a year earlier.

However, KPMG warned that businesses could expect to see an increase in company fraud if the widely forecast economic downturn starts to bite.

"As companies tighten their belts in the harsher conditions and take a closer look at their operations and related expenditure, it is highly possible that a greater number of frauds may be detected," said KPMG partner Hitesh Patel.®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.