Auckland [change]

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Tuesday, February 26

Forget Bonnie and Clyde-style hold-ups. Crooks are far more likely to turn their hand to benefit fraud and credit card rip-offs in today's increasingly cashless society. Criminologist Greg Newbold says traditional crimes like burglary and theft have been steadily declining since the 1990s as home and vehicle security systems become more sophisticated and less hard cash changes hands. Instead, criminals have taken to fraudulent crime with gusto, particularly credit card and identity fraud, with a record $23.4 million in benefit fraud detected last year. Analysing the latest crime figures, Prof Newbold of the University of Canterbury says detection methods for this relatively new area of crime have vastly improved in recent years.

Photo by SNPA Feb 25, 2013

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