According to the latest statistics from KPMG’s Fraud Barometer, high-value fraud cases worth more than £100,000 are continuing to decline in Scotland. £1.2 million worth of fraud cases appeared in the courts in the first two quarters of this year, down from £1.8 million in 2018.
In the first six months of 2019, four cases were heard in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Paisley – with charges including benefit fraud, embezzlement, and VAT fraud. This was a drop from the nine cases heard in Scotland during the same period the previous year.
One of the most high-profile fraud cases this year involved the former carers of 21-year-old Margaret Fleming who were fraudulently claiming £182,000 in benefits by pretending Ms Fleming was alive. Another case included Ian Brash, from East Lothian, who stole more than £350,000 from the Dr Robert Malcolm Trust while he was a trustee of the charity.
Across the UK, there were 217 alleged fraud cases taken to the courts, a drop of 13 per cent from last year when 249 cases were heard. The UK courts have dealt with more than £319 million of alleged fraud this year, £26 million less than 2018’s figures (£345 million).
However, there has been a 57 per cent rise in ‘account takeover’ cases this year; where digital scammers would use apps, emails, and texts in order to access personal data and take over people’s bank or credit card accounts. The report also noted a rise in the number of fraud cases where criminals advertised their services on the ‘dark web’.
Commenting on the findings, KPMG UK head of investigations Roy Waligora, said:
“As our digital footprints get larger, cybercriminals will continue to develop new and innovative ways to steal personal data. If we are not alive to the threats, there is a great risk that we increase our vulnerability to criminals through our inaction.”
Our specialist solicitors have extensive experience in defending those who are charged with all types of fraud. If you have been accused of benefit fraud, insurance fraud, internet fraud, investment fraud, or embezzlement, get in touch today with Keith J Tuck Solicitors by completing the online enquiry form.