Patel: government alone cannot fix fraud
Secretary-General Priti Patel said the government alone could not tackle the increase in fraud, as three new industry charters were unveiled in an attempt to boost security.
Fraud offenses rose 24% during the pandemic, according to the Home Office and charters will see banks, accountancy firms and telecommunications companies pledge to work with the government to stem the tide.
Plans include a pilot project to introduce point-of-sale banking authorizations for mobile phone contracts; a cross-sector plan to protect customers who are victims of a data breach; and a crackdown on fake text messages that appear to come from legitimate businesses.
The Joint Fraud Taskforce, a body comprising members of government, the private sector, law enforcement and victim groups, is also being relaunched under the leadership of Security Minister Damien Hinds and will meet for the first time on Thursday. .
Ms Patel said: “I am deeply concerned about the devastating impact fraud can have on victims and I will not tolerate criminals lining their pockets at the expense of law-abiding citizens.
“Government alone cannot solve this problem, which is why the Joint Fraud Task Force will bring together key business leaders to work in partnership to protect the public and fight this cowardly crime. “
All of the major banks have signed the industry charter, which includes commitments to crack down on the movement of stolen money and to give consumers consistent advice on where to get help if they are victims of fraud.
David Postings, Managing Director of UK Finance, said: “Banks fight fraud on all fronts, but the industry alone cannot stop all fraud. It is only by working with other key industries and government that we can combine our powers to make the UK a safe place to do business. “
The main mobile companies – BT EE, Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Media O2 and Vodafone – are signatories of the telecoms charter, and 12 major accounting bodies have joined their sector.
Members of the public are encouraged to forward suspicious text messages to 7726 and, if they have been scammed, report it to Action Fraud.