Fraud cases triple as young try it on

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Fraud in Yorkshire more than tripled during the first half of 2014 compared with last year, rising from £4.9m to £15m, the biggest increase of any English region.

The increase from 11 crimes last year to 18 in 2014 - a64 per cent rise - was partly due to a big increase among 26-35 year olds.

The latest cases also suggest companies have failed to spot a ‘changing of the guard’ as the profile shifts from rogue senior executives to young people fuelling extravagant lifestyles.

Analysis of cases going through British Crown Courts since the start of 2014 show a 285 per cent increase in frauds committed by those aged 26-35, with a value of £62m, while those committed by people aged 46 and over fell by 72 percent to £88m.

Vivien Osborne, forensic director at KPMG in Yorkshire, said: “The escalation of fraud across Yorkshire, which bucks the national trend, is worrying. Young fraudsters are becoming more brazen in abusing their positions of power or trust to fund often luxury lifestyles.

“The findings reinforce the importance of putting robust detection systems in place, but to also avoid falling into the trap of old stereotypes.”

Nationally, cases totalling £317m were recorded in the first half of 2014, according to KPMG, a 39 percent drop compared to the same period last year, but the number has remained constant.

Vivien Osborne said: “Where once it was the jaded executive who relied on unquestioned authority to get away with dipping their hands in the till, it seems we are witnessing a changing of the guard.

“Today’s fraudster is younger and just at ease with using technology as selling promises. It is important for organisations to recognise that youth doesn’t always equal innocence.”