UK

One in 700 scams ends in a conviction as experts warn UK ‘losing the war’ amid a ‘tsunami’ of fraud 

Just one in 700 scams results in a conviction as experts warn Britain is ‘losing the war’ amid a ‘tsunami’ of fraud

  • New figures show how fraud convictions have slumped by 62 per cent since 2011
  • In 2019 there were an estimated 3.7million fraud incidents in England and Wales
  • Reports of investment fraud have spiked by a staggering 343 per cent since 2017

Britain is ‘losing the war on fraud’ with just one in 700 scams resulting in convictions, the Daily Mail can reveal.

Shocking figures show fraud convictions have slumped by 62 per cent since 2011 to their lowest level in 14 years. 

But reports of investment fraud have spiked by 343 per cent since 2017, while the pandemic has seen billions lost to scams this year.

The findings sparked warnings that ministers have failed to respond to the scale of the crisis, creating ‘a haven for fraudsters’.

Overall fraud convictions plunged by 34 per cent in 2020, according to Ministry of Justice figures obtained by investment firm Quilter. 

In 2019 there were an estimated 3.7million fraud incidents in England and Wales, according to the ONS. 

Only one in five of these were reported to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which passes cases on to the police. 

Overall fraud convictions plunged by 34 per cent in 2020, according to Ministry of Justice figures obtained by investment firm Quilter

Only one in five fraud incidents in 2019 were reported to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which passes cases on to the police

Only one in five fraud incidents in 2019 were reported to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which passes cases on to the police

Of these, just 5,234 convictions were achieved – one in 142 reported and one in 700 incidents overall.

Earlier this month, David Clarke, of the Fraud Advisory Panel charity, told MPs fraud detectives were quitting as they ‘feel they cannot help’ beat ‘a tsunami of fraud’, adding: ‘We’ve created a haven for fraudsters.’ 

Andreas Theodorou, of online security group ProPrivacy, said there was a lack of funding and training at Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud overseen by City of London Police.

This meant sophisticated scams often went ‘entirely uninvestigated’. 

He added: ‘Couple that with the banks’ unwillingness to get too involved… and it is very clear that we are losing the war on fraud.’

A spokesman for City of London Police said it recognised the ‘increasing threat’ and was working to improve its response.

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