According to a study by KPMG, the level of fraud in the UK has reached its highest point in 12 years, costing the country over £1 billion every year.

The study by KPMG Forensic, the anti-fraud branch of KPMG, found that nearly 90 per cent of fraud last year was perpetrated by organised criminals, costing £889 million. According to the study the government was defrauded of £833 million last year.

The report said that the biggest fraud problem was carousel fraud where fraudsters claim the repayment of VAT on goods imported and exported to and from other EU countries, when no VAT had been originally paid.

Carousel fraudsters have been increasingly using mobile phone and computer chips in recent times. In a bid to combat carousel fraud, in June last year the government brought in changes to the way VAT is charged on mobile phones and computer chips.

The report also identified identity theft as a significant problem.

Hitesh Patel, a partner at KPMG Forensic, said, Levels of fraud continue to remain disturbingly high. The sophistication of organised fraud in the UK is certainly extremely concerning, reports the BBC.

Patel continued, More fraud cases have been coming to court in recent years than previously, but one fears that this is just the tip of the iceberg.