The state Auditor's Bureau of Special Investigations found 490 cases totaling $8.16 million in public assistance fraud in the last year, according to a report released Thursday. With 241 cases, Hampden was the county in which State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump's office identified the most cases of fraud in Fiscal Year 2020. "In Massachusetts, we recognize the value of a strong social safety net to help people put food on the table, access medical care and more. While fraud makes up a small portion of total public assistance spending, it has a disproportionate negative impact on public trust in these programs," Bump said in a statement. "At a time when more people are relying on this assistance because of economic hardships, my office remains committed to ensuring these programs are run with integrity and fraud is quickly identified and stopped."
Norfolk is a dating scams hotspot, Surrey succumbs to investment fraud and west and mid-Wales suffers cold calling computer cons, according to data from UK cyber-crime centre Action Fraud. And it wants the government to do more to tackle the problem. A recent Office of National Statistics survey suggested there are 5.4 million fraud and computer misuse cases a year. Which said that it could not explain why certain frauds occur more in some areas rather than others, partly because so many fraud cases go unreported so the data is incomplete. There were 264,204 frauds reported to Action Fraud in 2016 but this is likely to be a fraction of those that occur.
TSB has become the first UK bank to pledge to refund customers who fall victim to any type of fraud. The "fraud refund guarantee" will cover cases where customers are tricked into authorising payments to fraudsters, as well as unauthorised transactions. The move comes as the bank tries to rebuild its image after an IT meltdown last April left 1.9 million customers unable to access their own money. Banks have been under pressure to help tackle the rise in sophisticated fraud. Currently victims who are tricked into transferring money directly from their account to a fraudster are less likely to be reimbursed because they approved the payments.
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