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21 Nov 2012

UK Investors Lose £1.2 Billion Annually To Fraud

Fraud results in combined losses of £1.2 billion a year for UK investors, according to an anti-fraud campaign launched on Wednesday by Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and Internet crime.

A survey, carried out by market research company Ipsos MORI in relation to the campaign, showed that 49% of men above the age of 36 - which is the group considered most likely to have made investments - said that they had provided the person who contacted them with personal details before checking their credentials. In addition, just 57% of respondents believed that they could tell which offer was fraud and which was a genuine one.

Some £15.5 million has been reported to Action Fraud as lost to investment fraud over the past six months. However, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), which supports the campaign, said that only one in ten cases of investment fraud was reported because of the victims´ failure to overcome feeling ashamed and disgraced in order to make a report. Thus, the actual number of such crimes and amounts lost are way above this figure.

Peter Wilson, director at the National Fraud Authority, who also runs Action Fraud, said that investors who were considered to be ‘savvy and entrepreneurial´ accounted for some of the largest personal losses related to fraud reported to the police. According to the collected data, victims of fraud hand over amounts of between £10,000 and more than £1 million to fraudsters. Such losses are likely to be permanent, affecting the victims as well as possibly their family and business, he added.

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