New research has revealed that Dorset Police has the ninth highest rate of fraud reports over the last year.

The analysis, carried out by QR Code Generator QRFY, looked at data from Action Fraud and the Office for National Statistics.

It uncovered which police forces have recorded the most incidents of individual fraud per 100,000 people.

Over the past 13 months, Action Fraud recorded a total of 395,105 reports of individual fraud across England and Wales - with a reported loss of £2.3 billion. 89 percent (351,451) of these reports were found to be filed by individuals. 

In Dorset, 554 reports per 100,000 people were logged by the police , in comparison, Bedfordshire Police had the highest rate of 668 per 100,000.

The most common category of fraud recorded in Dorset was online shopping and auction fraud, which refers to the non-delivery of products bought by a consumer, or the misrepresentation of a product.  

Second most common category was other advance fee fraud, which refers to when fraudsters target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and or financial gains that do not materialise.

The third most common fraud reported in the county was  for cheques, plastic cards and online Bank accounts. This refers to cases where criminals pretend to be someone with authority asking individuals to use their credit cards, debit cards, repayment cards, store cards, and cheques that are linked to a bank account.

Marc Porcar, CEO of QRFY, has issued a warning to about fraudsters who operate online in light of the research.

He said: “The internet and widespread online connectivity has certainly created more opportunities for fraudsters to exploit people’s vulnerabilities. As more transactions and interactions occur online, there is a greater potential for individuals to fall victim to these kinds of scams. 

“Fraudsters are constantly developing new techniques that trick people into handing over access to their personal accounts, or finances. Large-scale data breaches which expose peoples’ personal information, also make it easier for criminals to impersonate individuals or commit identity theft.” 

Marc has also shared his top tips for avoiding being scammed online: 

  • Be cautious about sharing personal information online: Only share information with trusted websites and be wary of unsolicited emails or phone calls requesting personal details. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. 
  • Use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication: This adds an extra layer of security to your accounts, making it harder for unauthorised individuals to gain access. Strong passwords should be complex and unique, and two-factor authentication requires a second verification step, such as a code sent to your phone, in addition to your password. 
  • Monitor your accounts regularly: Check your bank statements and credit card reports for any suspicious activity and report any discrepancies immediately. This way you can catch fraudulent activity early and minimize the damage.”