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Commercial credit management agency Graydon UK today urged businesses to remain wary to the threat posed to their security by fraudsters, warning that new Government figures revealing a rise in fraud convictions merely scratch the surface of what is one of the UK’s fastest growing crimes.

According to new national crime statistics published by the Ministry of Justice, the total number of fraud cases went up 52 percent in 2007, from 4267 to 6483, with 87 percent resulting in guilty verdicts. Yet whilst these statistics should give a degree of comfort to the business community, incidences of fraud continue to increase.

Martin Williams, managing director, Graydon UK, a leading credit management company providing commercial fraud prevention, said: “All businesses have to educate themselves as to how to protect themselves against criminals who are becoming ever more sophisticated in their approach. For instance, Internet fraudsters known as pfishers are developing more and more authentic looking websites and pop up windows to look like major banks, designed to tempt users into providing personal bank account or credit card details.

“According to some estimates, fraud costs this country something in the region of £50 billion a year - 6483 convictions, although promising, hardly begins to deal with this huge problem in the UK.”

Indeed, the KPMG Forensics Barometer for 2007 estimates that £1 billion worth of fraud cases ended up in the courts during 2007, but this is only 2% of the estimated total fraud value.

“Businesses need to ensure that their guard is never allowed to drop. Companies should never be pressured to cut corners before opening up credit accounts. Validate all application data, do credit checks with a bona fide credit agency, and always look to corroborate delivery address details before dispatching goods.”

The 2006 Fraud Act came into force on 1 January 2007 aimed at helping police and prosecution services gain more convictions in this fast growing area of crime and to bring the law in line with a new generation of Internet and identity theft scams.

- Ends –

For further information contact:

Stephen Finch / Matthew Warlow
Weber Shandwick Financial
Phone: 020 7067 0705 / 020 7067 0712
Email: sfinch@webershandwick.com / mwarlow@webershandwick.com

Graydon UK Limited
Phone: 020 8515 1400
Email: mail@graydon.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

About Graydon UK

Graydon UK is one of the leading database information providers specialising in credit risk assessment and management. The company helps clients reduce the uncertainty of doing business by providing a complete, differentiated and high-quality package of credit risk management services. Graydon provides access to credit information and reports on companies in more than 140 countries worldwide. The Graydon group is owned by Atradius, Coface and Euler Hermes, three of Europe's leading credit insurance organisation. www.graydon.co.uk


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