The data reveals Dorset as the capital of computer virus, malware and spyware scams, while Northamptonshire is the capital for online shopping and auction fraud reports.
Elsewhere, Dyfed-Powys was the capital for computer-repair fraud reports; in these scams, a fraudster phones you pretending there’s a fault with your computer and then demands a fee for fixing it. Research suggests that this fraud – which has risen 47% in two years – tends to target areas with an older population.
Meanwhile, regular-payment fraud – where a fraudster persuades you to re-route a regular payment by posing as, say, your energy company – is reported more in areas with higher house prices, such as London and Surrey.
Figures for 2014-2016 from Action Fraud, the main reporting body for UK fraud show:
264,204 frauds were reported in 2016 – up 10.7% on 2015. But not every fraud is reported to Action Fraud; a survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests there may be as many as 5.4m fraud and computer misuse cases a year.
As rates soar, Which are calling on the new government to prioritise fighting scams.
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