Hi-tech fraud rockets

Fraud hit a 12-year high in the UK last year, with criminals increasingly using technology to perpetrate their crimes. In 2007, there was more than £1bn of fraud in the UK, and 90% of it was perpetrated by organised gangs carrying out ID theft and VAT scams, according to the KPMG Forensic Fraud Barometer.

Government was the primary target, suffering £833m fraud, with one of the largest ID thefts a £1.1m scam where a couple claimed benefits for eight adults and 46 children. Banks were relieved of £37m (down from £140m in 2006), commercial businesses lost £24m (compared to £81m in 2006), and accounting fraud amounted to £20m. A KPMG spokesman commented: 'Technology is the new battleground on which fraud is being fought, and the fraudsters are becoming more and more sophisticated.'

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