Fraud put the great British public out of pocket to the tune of £38bn last year, according to data from the National Fraud Authority.
The figure, taken from the NFA’s second Annual Fraud Indicator, was £8bn more than the previous year.
And it means that Britons are paying £765 per year each to plug the gap.
The public sector fell victim to most fraud. It lost more than £21bn in total - over half the total figure. £15bn of that figure was lost from tax swindles alone.
The private sector was hit by a £12bn loss, while the financial sector of insurance and online banking fraud lost £3.6bn.
Dr Bernard Herdan of the NFA said: ‘We want to develop a stronger counter-fraud culture, which helps to disrupt fraudulent activity across the UK and globally.’