The annual cost of fraudulent activities in the UK has reached £193 billion ($283bn), nearly four times what it was in 2013, a new study shows.
The study which was published by the University of Portsmouth on Wednesday stated that business fraud accounted for nearly £144 billion while fraud against individuals had an approximate cost of £9.7 billion.
This marks a whopping 400 percent increase compared to the last estimate – made in 2013 by the now defunct National Fraud Authority – which put the cost at nearly £52 billion a year.
The study also reveals the staggering true cost of fraud in the UK – an average of more than £3,900 per adult in the UK with losses taking place at a rate of £6,000 per second.
Professor Mark Button, the report’s author, warned that nationwide fraud was now on an “industrial scale.”
This is while the report said the true scale of fraud in the country may still remain unknown.
“Despite a broadly conservative and prudent approach being adopted in this report, it is likely annual fraud estimates are being under-evaluated,” the report said. “Fraudsters are fast, inventive, adaptable and willing to quickly exploit new opportunities.”
According to the Annual Fraud Indicator 2016, the biggest loss with an estimated at £127 billion a year was due to procurement fraud which included the submission of false invoices and the awarding of contracts in exchange for bribes.
The cost of fraud against charities was estimated at £2 billion per year, while £1.3 billion a year was lost on mortgage fraud.
Fraud in insurance sector cost some £1.3bn a year, while tax fraud was estimated at £15.4 billion every year. Fraudulent activities in the National Health System (NHS) cost an annual £2.5 billion, according to the report.
Identity fraud was the most prevalent type of fraud carried out against individuals and cost about 3.2 million victims an estimated £5.4 billion a year.
London Police Commissioner Ian Dyson said the findings illustrated “the cost of fraud to business, individuals and the public sector is vast and continues to rise.”