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Hundreds use new Sussex fraud hotline
Hundreds of thousands of pounds of suspected frauds have been reported in the first month of a new crime reporting service.
Sussex residents reported £413,000 of suspected fraudulent activity in just one month of the Action Fraud system going live in the county.
Under the new system, suspected fraudulent behaviour is being reported directly to the National Fraud Authority.
In December, 422 reports were received from Sussex residents in the first month of the new system.
Home Office officials said that 256 were calls reporting actual crimes while the remaining 166 were ‘information’ reports where individuals had been targeted but had realised and hung up. The average cost of each fraud case is £1,000.
One in five of reports related to credit card and internet fraud while one in six related to online shopping.
Under the new scheme, anyone reporting a crime to Action Fraud is a crime reference number.
All reports are fed into the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, a central service which is overseen by the City of London Police, where all information gathered from Action Fraud and other sources will be analysed to gather intelligence and pick up trends and link cases.
In addition, during December Sussex Police received 61 allegations of fraud in Sussex which were reported to the force directly and 56 cases were passed to it by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.
Specialist fraud teams
A Sussex Police spokesman said that reports from people in Sussex to Action Fraud about offences could have originated elsewhere in the UK or even internationally.
Detective Chief Inspector Ali Eaton said: “This new system does not mean that we will no longer investigate frauds.
“We have a specialist major fraud team, and money laundering teams, and local detectives are trained to investigate allegations.
“But experience shows us that so many frauds cross force, and even national, borders.
“The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau will be able to assess all reports and decide which law enforcement agency will be best placed to investigate.”
To report fraud visit www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 1232040.
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