Statistics in fraud should be interpreted with caution, according to the Office for National Statistics, after analysis revealed almost four million crimes were being left out of official figures.
The data body revealed since the Crime Survey for England and Wales began in 1981, the primary set of offences covered has remained unchanged, with crimes such as credit card fraud not included.
Plastic card fraud and bank and building society fraud were reported to have contributed between 3.6 and 3.8 million incidents of crime to the total 7.3 million crimes recorded.
The report said: "Action Fraud have taken over the recording of fraud offences on behalf of individual police forces. The process began in April 2011 and was rolled out to all police forces by March 2013.
"Due to this change, caution should be applied when comparing data over this transitional period and with earlier years".