U.K.'s fraud hot-spots revealed

Posted Jun 16, 2017 by Tim Sandle
Fraud is, unfortunately, rife in most areas with scams and confidence tricksters attempting to prize people of their money. In the U.K. there are some regional patterns. For instance, Norfolk suffers with dating scams, Surrey with investment fraud.
Thomas Samson, AFP/File
The overview of the U.K. and the analysis of the patterns has come from the consumer magazine Which? The analysis reveals peculiar trends. West and mid-Wales, for example, suffers from cold calling computer cons. Other analysis reported by the BBC includes Northamptonshire residents are most likely to report suffering online shopping and auction scams; residents of Dorset are most commonly victims of computer viruses; Warwickshire is a nerve center for retail fraud; and London is the most common place for a person's social media account to be hacked. Norfolk was also a hot spot for reported lottery scams, where people are sold fake lottery tickets for non-existent jackpots.
Add to this Norfolk being a hub of fake dating Internet sites and Surrey, a relatively wealthy county, having the highest concentration of investment fraudsters, regional variations become apparent. The data is based on comparing regional with national trends. With Norfolk being the worse area for Internet data scams, this is based on 1.6 reports for every 10,000 people in the county compared with a U.K. national average of 1.1 reports for the same issue.
Speaking with The Guardian, Gareth Shaw, who works for Which?, stated: “As more information is available about us online than ever before, fraudsters are finding it much easier to know who to target and how."
Shaw also warned: “These criminals are constantly finding new ways to rip us off and those tackling fraud should be upping their game. The government needs to set out an ambitious agenda to tackle fraud, while law enforcement agencies need to be working harder to identify and protect the people most at risk from fraud.”
The data was collected by the U.K. cyber-crime center Action Fraud. It was released to the Consumers' Association (which operates the brand name Which?) under the freedom of information act, and the analysis undertaken. The consumer activist group, founded in 1957, is now calling on the U.K. government to take appropriate action.