New figures reveal worst UK regions for fraud, as phone thefts rise 31%

Cybersecurity, News

Fraud cases in Scotland have increased by two-thirds in the last year, according to new research by AI and analytics leader, SAS.
Phone thefts across the UK have also jumped 31%, as fraudsters target mobiles to access confidential information and log-in credentials.

The study compared the number of cases in November 2022 to November 2021, based on the volume of fraud reported by police forces to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).

According to the list, Police Scotland has had the biggest increase in fraud referrals – 1,200 in November 2022, up 67% from the same period in 2021. 

This comes as the National Crime Agency revealed that fraud is now the “most commonly experienced crime in the UK.”

The NFIB receives all of Action Fraud’s reports, which are referred from police forces and used to identify fraud incidents such as phishing attacks and online banking fraud.

Residents in the City of London experienced a 14% rise in fraud cases in the last year, the third highest increase across the UK.

In the UK there were 27,909 cases of fraud referred to the NFIB in November 2022 – a 5% fall when compared to November 2021. Despite this drop, fraud has generally been on the rise across the UK in recent years, with Action Fraud reporting a 36% rise in fraud crimes in 2021 compared to 2020.  

Police in Dyfed-Powys, Wales, and Humberside, Yorkshire experienced the biggest drops in reported fraud. 

The areas that have seen the biggest increase in fraud referrals:

1 – Police Scotland – 67% rise

2 – Gwent – 21% rise

3 – City of London – 14% rise

4 – Durham – 13% rise

5 – Gloucestershire – 8% rise

SAS also conducted Freedom of Information requests to all city police forces across the UK, revealing the growing problem of phone thefts.

Liverpool had the highest increase – with four times as many phones stolen in the last year, according to the data – 10,949, up from 2,112.

In London, there were 44,629 cases logged in 2022 up to November across all boroughs – 8% up compared to 2021. 

The biggest increase in phone theft across the UK

1 – Liverpool – 418%

2 – Coventry – 136%

3 – Wolverhampton – 129%

4 – Birmingham – 122%

5 – Cambridge – 111% 

Says Daniel Marchetti, Principal Business Solution Manager at SAS:

“As fraud issues continue to escalate across the UK, police forces are using AI and analytics to identify potential fraud hotspots faster and more accurately, and discover new techniques used by criminals.

“Police need to be able to stay on top of rapidly developing trends, and with a shortage of police on the front line, use cloud analytics to understand the complex techniques, mediums used and common victim profiles so that predictive policing that can reduce fraud.”

You can see the full research with further regional breakdown here:


Chris Price
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