Elderly biggest victims as Britain reports five million fraud cases

2015-10-15 21:01


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London - Elderly people are the biggest victims of an estimated 5 million fraud cases annually in Britain, reports said on Thursday, as the government published its first official survey of fraud and cyber crime.

More than one-third of fraud victims are more than 65 years old, double the expected level, according to a survey of 39 000 people referred by the police in the past year to a charity supporting victims of crime.

Victim Support found people over 65 made up 35% of referrals, for an age group forming 18% of the population, while 19% of victims were over 75, a group that accounts for 8% of Britain's population.

"Fraud damages lives not just bank accounts and the fact that fraudsters are targeting vulnerable older people is both disturbing and despicable," said Lucy Hastings, director of Victim Support.

"We know that the vast majority of fraud goes unreported - largely because victims are too embarrassed to come forward, or are afraid of ridicule," Hastings said.

"We need to take away the stigma, so that victims of fraud have the confidence to report it, knowing that they are not alone and will be taken seriously," she said.

The government reported modern crimes including fraud by telephone, e-mail and the internet, for the first time on Thursday.

The Office for National Statistics said interview-based research suggested there were 5.1 million incidents of fraud and 2.5 million cyber crime cases in England and Wales in the 12 months to June.

Read more on:    uk  |  cyber crime

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