Fraud incidents in the UK decline as computer viruses become rarer

Alys Key
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Computer viruses are declining (Source: Getty)

New crime statistics showed a drop in instances of fraud in the UK last year, with computer viruses becoming less frequent.

Estimates from the Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) released today indicate 4.7m incidents of fraud and computer misuse were experienced by adults in the year ending September 2017, marking a 15 per cent decrease from the previous survey year.

Total occurrences of fraud fell by 10 per cent to 3.2m. Among the types of fraud which declined were consumer and retail fraud, down 20 per cent, and advance fee fraud, which dropped 57 per cent.

Computer misuse offences showed a dip of 24 per cent, mainly due to a 26 per cent drop in instances of computer viruses to 1m.

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But bank and credit account fraud was at a similar level to the previous year, and this offence accounts for the majority of all fraud in the UK.

The drop in overall fraud rates contributed to a decline in the headline figures for all crime in the country. There was a 10 per cent drop in the number of crimes in the period, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Mark Bang, crime statistician for the ONS, said: “While overall levels of violent crime were not increasing, there is evidence of rises having occurred in some of the low incidence but more harmful categories such as knife and gun crime".

Knife and gun crimes were up 21 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

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