A study of British fraud cases by accountants BDO Stoy Hayward found that £435m of fraud was reported in the first six months of this year, compared with just over £330m for the whole of 2003.
However, the number of cases has remained consistent, with London and the South East remaining a fraud hotspot. The North East saw a big increase in the value of frauds reported, although this was attributed to one case in which the value of the fraud was £100m.
Interestingly, the number of female frauds has risen.
‘The vast majority of fraudsters are still men (82% in first half of 2004, and a similar proportion in 2003), but the statistics show that women did take a step towards equality in this disreputable area by committing more high-value frauds,’ said Andrew Durant, specialist fraud investigator at BDO Stoy Hayward.
‘For example, in 2003 no women were convicted of frauds costing over £4m. However, in the first half of 2004 several frauds over £5m were committed by women (including a couple over £20m).’
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