Around one in 13 (8%) people admit they have been involved in fraudulent conduct in the past year – including around one in seven (15%) 16 to 34-year-olds.
The most common “everyday” frauds included falsely claiming an online delivery had not been received in order to get a refund, receiving a single person discount on a council tax bill, and falsifying an insurance claim.
The survey of 2,000 people across the UK was commissioned by fraud prevention body Cifas.
The types of direct fraud seen as the most “reasonable” by those surveyed included selling a vehicle that was subject to a finance agreement, money muling and submitting a false insurance claim.
Cifas said figures from the National Fraud Database during the first nine months of 2021 reveal an 18% increase in first-party fraud cases, compared with the same period in 2020.
The most common forms of first-party fraud recorded to the database during this period involved the misuse of bank accounts.
Cifas’ head of fraud intelligence, Amber Burridge, said: “The findings reveal a continued attitude of fraud being a victimless crime.
“Committing what may be seen to be ‘everyday’ fraud impacts all our daily finances, such as through higher insurance premiums, increased delivery fees and bigger council tax bills. It’s vital we all recognise the consequences of committing fraud and aren’t tempted into doing it.”
She said criminals will often attempt to convince those they recruit that what they are doing is harmless – with a common example being money muling, when people agree to receive the proceeds of crimes into their bank account.
Ms Burridge continued: “In fact, this money has likely come from someone who has been scammed and criminals are trying to mask the money in order to fund high-harm crimes such as drug trafficking, people trafficking and terrorist financing.
“If an opportunity to make money feels too good to be true, then it probably is. Always take time to do your research and consider the impacts of getting involved before doing so.”