National Fraud Stats Unreliable

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The threat from fraud

Infographic saying: £190 billion – Annual cost of fraud in the UKData breaches continue to be a key enabler of fraud. Personal and financial information obtained in a breach can be used to commit frauds affecting individuals, the private and public sectors alike. By harvesting personal and financial information through data breaches, criminals are able to commit fraud and damage people, businesses and services.

The most robust figures currently available from the Crime Survey of England and Wales reveal there were 3.4 million incidents of fraud in 2016-17. However we think that fewer than 20 per cent of incidents of fraud are actually reported so the true figure may be much higher. This means that the scale of fraud is very significant, but that under-reporting also hampers our understanding of the threat.

Much of the proceeds will be laundered within the UK or moved overseas. To launder the proceeds of fraud, organised crime groups often use ‘mule networks’, with bank accounts owned by witting and unwitting members of the public being used to obscure the source and nature of the funds.

Infographic saying: 3.4 million – Incidents of fraud in England and Wales in 2017Victims of fraud range across vulnerable individuals, major corporations, smaller businesses, as well as the public sector.  Nationalcrimeagency

Compiling and comparing International Crime Statistics

It should be noted that the crime statistics reported to the United Nations in the context of its various surveys on crime levels and criminal justice trends are incidents of victimization that have been reported to the authorities in any given country. That means that this data is subject to the same problems of accuracy as all official crime data. The variety of potential problems with recorded crime statistics is illustrated in the diagram below.
Actual events
Ae Deviations in whether an event is considered a crime or not, e.g.: different definitions used in different jurisdictions.
P Police recorded crime
Pe Errors that accumulate along the police recording process
e.g.: data entry errors at the source and at intermediate stages of the recording process, aggregation errors, interpretation errors, missing regions or double count, transmission errors (e.g. lost mail), etc.
V Victim reported crime
Ve Errors that accumulate along the victim reporting process
e.g.: victimless crimes, data entry at the source and at intermediate stages of the reporting process, interpretation errors, sampling errors, statistical errors, transmission errors, etc.
1 Crime is recorded by the police and reported by victim
2 Crime is recorded by the police but not reported by victim
3 Crime is reported by victim but not recorded by the police
4 A crime happens but is neither recorded by the police nor reported by the victim

$36 billion might be a low estimate for this growing fraud

Fraud is becoming a bigger threat to your retirement security — even if you think you’re too sharp to fall for a scam.

One 2015 report estimated that older Americans lose $36.5 billion each year to financial scams and abuse. The problem is growing, and researchers say older adults experiencing cognitive decline are just a segment of the victims.

Three in 10 state securities regulators say they have seen an uptick over the past year in cases and complaints involving senior financial fraud and exploitation, according to a new survey from the North American Securities Administrators Association. Only 3 percent reported a decline.

Thieves are following the money, said the association’s president, Mike Rothman.

“This population that’s retiring is one of the wealthiest, if not the wealthiest generation, in terms of their retirement savings,” said Rothman, who is also the Minnesota commissioner of commerce. “Criminals know this as well.”

It doesn’t help that seniors can also be more vulnerable.

“It’s easier to try to exploit a senior citizen with cognitive or other impairments in financial issues, who are alone, than it is to rob a bank,” Rothman said. “So they are the targets.” CNBC

By the Numbers: Voter Fraud

With just over three weeks until Election Day, Donald Trump has ramped up his claims that the election is “rigged” against him. He blasted Republican leaders on Twitter on Monday, calling them “so naive” and saying: “Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day.”

What is the truth behind Trump’s declarations? We look at the numbers behind voting fraud in America.

Percentage of Americans who think that the election could be “stolen” from Trump: 41%
(73% of Republicans and 17% of Democrats)

Number of voter fraud cases since 2000: 44 cases out of 1 billion votes cast
(8 of which involve more than one ballot affected)

Rate of voter fraud: 0.0000044%
Number of states with active voter ID laws: 32

Number of laws passed to tighten voting laws since 2001: Over 1,000

2012 voter turnout: 129,085,403

Approximate number of 2012 voter fraud cases: 4

Projected number of 2016 voter fraud cases based on 2012 turnout: 4
Your odds of getting struck by lightning (twice!) are more likely than election fraud at: 1 in 9 million
And you’re much more likely to win an Olympic gold medal, with odds of: 1 in 662,000

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