Crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers has launched a national campaign to locate the alleged con artists following reports earlier this year that fraud cost the UK an estimated £38bn in 2010.
In Cardiff, an elderly Cardiff woman was conned out of thousands of pounds by a charlatan who has been named as one of the 10 most wanted fraudsters in the UK.
Jascent Nakawunde, 33, also known as Tania Bird, is wanted for questioning in connection with an alleged £35,000 fraud in the Cardiff area between 2007 and 2008. She was employed as a live-in carer for a woman in her 80s and abused her position is accused of stealing cheques from her, which were allegedly paid into false bank accounts in London.
The £35,000 fraud is assumed to have occurred in Cardiff between 2007 and 2008.
Nakawunde is known to have strong links with and previous addresses in London, although she has previously travelled to other parts of the UK with her work.
She is among 10 people most wanted for fraud in the UK, who between them are said to be responsible for more than £200m worth of fraud.
Stuart Taylor, Chairman of Crimestoppers’ Wales Committee, said: “The alleged crimes committed by Nakawunde have been both callous and heartless.
“I urge anyone who knows of her whereabouts to contact us as soon as possible.”
Lord Ashcroft, chairman of Crimestoppers, said: “This is not a victimless crime. Every single one of us is paying higher taxes, bank charges and insurance fees because of fraud.
“The amount of fraud against the public purse is around £27bn a year. This is equivalent to 30% of the estimated national education budget for 2011/2012.
“Think of the many cuts and savings that would not have to occur if we did not suffer this level of fraud.”