Of these, just 5,234 convictions were secured under the Fraud Act 2006, amounting to one in 142 cases reported to the authorities.

This compares to around one in every 32 police recorded thefts ending in a conviction in the same year.

The same FOIs also showed that despite fraud carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a fine, in 2020 the average custodial sentence secured under the Act was just under 20 months and the average fine was £463.

Debbie Barton, a financial crime prevention expert at Quilter commented: “Over the past few years, we’ve seen a worrying rise in the number of investment frauds reported to Action Fraud. From dubious cryptocurrency and forex trading schemes to non-existent investment bonds, fraud lurks everywhere, particularly online and on social media.

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