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Which? Recommends a Fraud Minister to Tackle 40% of All UK Crime: Fraud

According to figures from UK Finance, the UK trade association for banking and financial services, losses to fraud in the past year exceeded £1billion, equating to £2,300 stolen every minute. More must be done to stop this. As a result, Which?, the consumer choice advisor, has recommended the next Prime Minister appoint a dedicated fraud minister.  

The fight against fraud requires coordinated action across multiple government departments and business sectors. No one firm or department can solve the problem by itself. Something has to be done though, as 40 per cent of crimes committed in England and Wales are fraudulent.

The next government must prioritise fraud by appointing a fraud minister who can drive the urgent actions needed across government and business to finally turn the tide.

This means ensuring that tech giants, responsible for platforms that are frequently the linchpin of a fraudster’s journey, are held accountable by Ofcom for preventing fraudulent activity before it reaches consumers and if it slips through the net removing it swiftly.

It also means that banks and payment providers ensure victims are treated fairly and promptly reimbursed.

Rocio Concha
Rocio Concha, director of policy and advocacy at Which?

Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said: “The fraud epidemic continues to ruin people’s lives every year, yet progress with tackling it is too slow due to a lack of leadership and coordination across government and business sectors.

“The next government must show it will make tackling this terrible crime a national priority and appoint a fraud minister to bring sectors together and drive forward real change at pace. This will benefit UK citizens, businesses and growth.”

What’s next?

New duties, equivalent to existing obligations for banks and online platforms, should be placed on telecom providers, online advertisers and domain registrars to ensure they verify the legitimacy of users.

The fraud minister must also provide leadership in breaking down barriers to sharing fraud intelligence between companies in different sectors, law enforcement and government departments – a vital step towards shutting down scammers at the earliest opportunity.

The consumer champion is calling for updated product safety laws and mandating digital marketplaces to prevent the sale of unsafe products on their websites. It also says there should be an overhaul of trading standards to ensure an effective enforcement system that delivers for both consumers and responsible businesses.

Additionally, Which? recommends boosting Civil Aviation Authority powers to fine airlines for breaches of consumer law. It also has suggested a required mandatory certification for installers of sustainable home improvements like insulation and heat pumps.

Lastly, the delivery of long overdue pension dashboards so savers can make more informed decisions about their retirement.

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