Research reveals the UK’s biggest business fraud hotspots

The new research, undertaken by anti-fraud experts SEON, has revealed the areas with the highest rates of business fraud per 100,000 people.

New research, undertaken by anti-fraud experts SEON, has revealed the UK areas with the highest rates of business fraud per 100,000 people.

The research used data from Action Fraud and recorded both the total number of fraud reports in each area as well as the total number of business or corporate fraud cases. It then compared this to population data, giving relative rates of fraud and business fraud in each geographical area, allowing comparisons to be made. 

The City of London has the highest rate of corporate fraud per 100,000 people in the country at 100.92 cases. This will likely come as no surprise, as the City of London is the centre of the UK’s financial industry and is home to a huge number of businesses, while also being home to a comparably small number of people.

Nottinghamshire has the second-highest rate of corporate fraud in the country, making the county a much riskier place to do business than the majority of the country.

In third place, is North Yorkshire. This largely rural county is home to several well-off small cities and market towns, such as York and Harrogate, which act as business hubs for the area and are likely the focus of fraudsters’ attention in the region.

County Durham, the territory policed by Durham Constabulary, has the highest average losses per report of business fraud in the country. This huge sum is more than three times higher than every region other than second place, which it is still noticeably higher than.

In second place is the City of London. While still being much higher than the vast majority of other regions, it is perhaps surprising that the City of London did not top the leader board in this instance, given that it is home to the UK’s finance industry.

Lancashire is the third most expensive place to be hit by business fraud. While substantially lower than the average losses incurred in County Durham and the City of London, this figure is still high enough to put some small companies out of business altogether.

Tamas Kadar, CEO at SEON comments on the findings: “Over the last two years, we have seen more people than ever before moving their business online as well as accommodating more remote workers as the world has navigated numerous lockdowns. With more people online, the tools criminals have at their disposal to commit fraud against both individuals and businesses have skyrocketed, putting hard-earned money at risk and causing major consequences.

“It’s interesting to see which parts of the UK had the highest rates of business fraud, as well as the cities that have the most costly business fraud, in order to spread awareness of the dangers and implications of business fraud in these areas. 

“Unfortunately, it’s easier than ever to commit crime online so in order to help combat business fraud, you need some form of dedicated fraud prevention system in place with security training for your employees to enable you to conduct business safely and securely.”

Further findings:

  • The City of London places top as the region most susceptible to all forms of fraud, with 143,092 reports per 100,000 people.

  • The second region most susceptible to all forms of fraud, with 568 reports of fraud per 100,000 people, is the area covered by Dyfed-Powys Police in Wales. 

  • Northumbria tops the list as the most expensive part of the UK to fall victim to any type of fraud, with average losses per incident standing at £11,661. 


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