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Fraud hotspots revealed: Norfolk is the capital of dating scams while Surrey residents are the most likely to be duped by fake investments

June 16, 2017 9:54 AM
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Norfolk is the national capital of online dating scams, in-depth cyber-crime data reveals today.

A total of 16 people per 100,000 in the county were duped into transferring money to scammers using fake profiles on dating sites after building their trust.

This compares to a national average of 11 per 100,000, according to figures from anti-cyber crime centre Action Fraud over the past three years.

The data was collected by consumer watchdog Which? after a Freedom of Information Request.

It showed Norfolk was also a hotspot for lottery scams with 22 in 100,000 paying to enter a non-existent prize draw, compared with 10 per 100,000 nationally.

Meanwhile, Surrey saw the most incidents of investment fraud, with 21 reports per 100,000 people, compared with an average of 13.

The Dyfed-Powys area of Mid Wales had the most victims of computer repair fraud where cold callers offer to fix a non-existent glitch, with 193 reports per 100,000 people, compared with the general average of 140.

This type of fraud was more commonly reported in areas with an older population, Which? said.

Dyfed-Powys was also a hotspot for reported fake services fraud. This is where victims are conned into paying an upfront fee for services that did not exist, such as falsely offering to make a PPI claim.

There were 134 reports per 100,000 people, compared with the national average of 95.

Residents in Northamptonshire were most likely to report being hit by online shopping and auction scams, reporting that a product sold online did not exist, arrive or match its description.

There were 216 reported frauds per 100,000 people, compared with 169 nationally.

The rankings showed London is a hotspot for various reported scams, including being charged fees for fake loans, social media or email hacking, scam door-to-door sales, fraud involving false or stolen goods and ticket fraud.

The capital also saw frequent reports of regular payment fraud, which sees people duped into changing a direct debit, standing order or bank transfer, by pretending to be an organisation the victim regularly pays, such as an energy or phone company.

The analysis found Warwickshire experiences a lot of retail fraud, with 157 reports per 100,000 people, compared with an average of 34.

Retail fraud happens when goods are ordered with no intention of paying, or when a fraudster tries to get a refund from stolen goods.

Dorset was found to be another target for technology fraud, with 38 reports of computer virus, malware and spyware fraud per 100,000 people compared with the general average of 23.

Gareth Shaw, a money expert at Which?, said: 'As more information is available about us online than ever before, fraudsters are finding it much easier to know who to target and how.

'These criminals are constantly finding new ways to rip us off and those tackling fraud should be upping their game.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

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