U.K. frauds hit record high with £1.1 billion

Accountancy giant, KPMG reported that the value of cyber crime and fraud cases reaching U.K. courts have totaled more than £1.1 billion ($1.36 billion) in 2016, which has been the highest amount in five years.

While numbers of fraud cases have dropped by a third but the amount stolen has been 55% more-which was reported as £124 million in 2015. Cyber crime, all over jumped 1,266 per cent jump compared to 2015. This surge is a huge concern for businesses and individuals which will not only put them at more risk but also slowdown the economy. KPMG has also warned that law enforcement agencies who don’t have the resources to investigate every report of fraud will come under increasing strain as they investigate complex super cases.

KPMG found that £900 million of fraud stemmed from just seven super cases-with a value of £50 million or over. In 2015, super cases amounted to £250 million and the U.K. based accounting firm argued the rapid increase of super cases in recent years may be reflective of fraud being a lucrative and practical proposition for those with sufficient technological abilities. KPMG calculated the average value of loss in the surge to be around £5.2 million.

KPMG’s statistics included a £113 million cold-calling scam for which the culprit received an 11-year jail sentence in September. Feezan Hameed was caught after targeting 750 Royal Bank of Scotland customers in the biggest cyber fraud the Metropolitan police had seen.

The report also mentioned about a 51-year-old Leicester man who was imprisoned for six years for masterminding a £60 million fraud to supply free cable TV using illicit set-top boxes and promoted the business on internet forums as well on his own website.

Fraud against businesses was up seven-fold this year with internal fraud committed by employees and management the most common type of fraud to hit business operations.

Cyber attack threats have been widespread in recent months too with the European Union Security Commissioner acknowledging upcoming general elections throughout the continent could be at risk to foreign powers. President Donald Trump moved to accept the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion Russia had engaged in cyber attacks during the presidential election, according to the New York businessman’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus.

Recently, Lloyds Banking group was also struck down with a DDoS attack where the cyber fiends tried to access personal banking websites of customers. The group is working with law enforcement agencies to identify the culprit behind the cyber attack.

More and more people are being targeted by fraudsters due to rapid rise of technology and online platforms as they get unrestricted access to a larger pool of victims.

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