Fraud in the UK has become an epidemic and is damaging businesses, the country's image and the public purse, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) has claimed.
The think tank says the country loses approximately $260 billion each year to fraud, the crime UK citizens are most likely to fall victim to.
Fraud against the public sector results in up to $65 billion a year in losses, which is more than the entire annual defense budget, and fraud is also the fuel of organized crime and a source of funding for terrorism, the report claims.
According to the BBC, the Crime Survey for England and Wales found that 3.7 million fraud-related incidents took place between 2019 and 2020.
To address the problem, RUSI has offered a number of recommendations to the government. The country’s intelligence agencies should “play a greater role” when it comes to responding to the crisis, law enforcement should be better resourced and should also work more closely with the private sector, it was said.
In order to generate the much-needed funding, fraud should be classified as a national security issue, the think tank concluded.