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Norfolk people twice as likely to be targetted by computer fraudsters

PUBLISHED: 11:10 20 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:45 20 June 2019

People in Norfolk are twice as likeely to be targetted by computer scammers  Picture: PA

People in Norfolk are twice as likeely to be targetted by computer scammers Picture: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Norfolk is a hotspot for computer fixing fraud, it emerged today.

People in the county are twice as likely to be targeted by scammers who call and claim their computers need fixing in order to access personal data and steal credit card details.

Reports of the crime equate to 10.3 per 10,000 people, compared with the national average of just 5.9, according to analysis by consumer watchdog Which?.

Research also showed people in Sussex are more likely to have fallen victim to romance scams, while London is the capital of online shopping and investment cons.

The consumer group obtained police data from Action Fraud, the main reporting body for scams in the UK to map out hotspots of reported fraud as well as looking at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) crime survey data.

Which?'s findings also suggest that the reported figures are just the tip of the iceberg - as many scams go unreported.

It said, for example, that while the crime survey shows there were more than 3.6 million cases of fraud in England and Wales in 2018, only 276,129 fraud and computer crime reports were made to Action Fraud in the 12 months to April 2019.

Of the reports made to Action Fraud in the past two years, online shopping and auctions fraud is the biggest reported type of fraud, with 86,127 cases.

This is followed by advance fee fraud (78,686); computer fixing fraud (38,891); and cheque, plastic card and online bank fraud (35,502).

Jenny Ross, Which? money editor, said: "Fraud is spiralling out of control, so any measures that can help combat this worsening crime - such as the introduction of vital name check security for bank transfers - should be quickly introduced.

"The government must set out an ambitious agenda - with real accountability - to finally tackle the growing threat from scams, which are having a devastating impact on the lives of victims."

Here are the most commonly reported types of fraud to Action Fraud over the past two years and the "fraud capitals" where they were most likely to be reported, according to analysis from Which?

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Figures show the number of reports per 10,000 people in the areas in question, followed by the UK average number of reports per 10,000 people:

- Advance fee fraud, Warwickshire, 15.8, 11.9

- Bogus tradespeople, Surrey, 3.2, 1.8

- Cheque, plastic card and online bank fraud, Essex, 12.2, 5.4

- Computer fixing fraud, Norfolk, 10.3, 5.9

- Computer virus attacks, Surrey, 2.5, 1.9

- Dating scams, Sussex, 1.9, 1.1

- Fake loan fraud, Northamptonshire, 1.8, 1.2

- Hacking social media and email, Hertfordshire, 3.5, 2.5

- Investment fraud, London, 1.9, 1.3

- Mandate fraud, Surrey, 3.3, 2.0

- Online shopping and auctions, London, 17.0, 13.0

- Retail/consumer fraud, Essex, 12.7, 11.3

- Ticket fraud, London, 4.5, 2.2

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