If you are sitting in a room with seven Brits, it’s likely one of you is a fraudster.
One in seven Brits have confessed to taking part in fraud that has robbed the economy and the rest of the honest population of around £190 billion.
The astonishing admissions were made to the government’s fraud busters Cifas as the result of new research.
The study reveals the most popular fraud is ‘fronting’ – when someone buys insurance or sets up another service in someone else’s name to save money, with 6% committing the offence.
The prime example is parents taking out car insurance for a child.
A staggering 39% of adults admit they consider fronting as a reasonable action.
Other popular frauds Brits turn a blind eye to include:
- Deshopping – Ordering online clothes to wear and return demanding a full refund, which is the second most popular fraud with one in 20 adults taking part.
- Moneymuling – Illegally switching funds between bank accounts for some else while keeping a share as a commission. The offence is considered reasonable by 22% of adults
- Claimed non-delivery – Ordering and receiving goods but claiming the parcel did not arrive and asking for a refund
Chief Executive Officer of Cifas, Mike Haley, said: “It’s sad to note how common fraud is among the British population, and that even more people find such acts of dishonesty acceptable.
Lack of understanding
“Many people seem unaware that what they consider to be reasonable, such as buying shoes to wear for a night before returning them, or adding their parent as a main driver for cheaper insurance, can be considered acts of fraud.
“That many people also see this as reasonable highlights the lack of understanding of fraud as a criminal and harmful act.
“We wanted to raise awareness of the consequences what can be considered everyday fraud, such as finding it difficult to obtain a financial product or a mobile phone account, and in some cases such as being a money mule, end up with a criminal record.”
The study also found younger adults were most likely to commit fraud, with 21% of 18 to 30 years olds admitting they had an involvement in law-breaking, compared to 5% of over 65s.