Fighting fraud in Scotland
Our manifesto proposals for the next Scottish Government.
Prevention and victims proposals
- The Scottish Government should support a coordinated industry and Government led education and awareness campaign on fraud and cyber fraud in particular; and for the Scottish Government to work with industry and law enforcement to create a universal advice pack that can be sent to victims of scams and fraud. This pack should be designed to be used by Government, charities, fraud prevention agencies and businesses.
- Online identity protection should be taught to pupils from the age of 7 (Primary 4) in Computing, PSHE and Financial Education classes – this education should have some basic focus on identity theft.
- Financial Education in Scottish secondary schools should be expanded to include a focus on fraud – what fraud is, how to protect yourself from falling victim, to recognise when you are committing fraud, and the impact fraud can have on both individuals and wider society.
- Online identity protection, with a focus on identity theft, should be taught in Computing, PSHE and Financial Education classes in Scottish secondary schools.
- As part of their safeguarding policies Scottish secondary and high schools should include teaching students about the risks of becoming a victim or committing fraud.
- The Scottish education system should provide guidance to parents about how they can help protect their child’s identity online. This should be provided in packs to parents at primary schools when their child reaches Primary 4 and when their child starts at secondary school.
Universities and colleges
- Universities and colleges should be encouraged to work with fraud prevention agencies and other partners to provide students with fraud prevention and online identity protection advice.
- Scottish Government and its relevant agencies should continue to support the Scottish Business Resilience Centre to provide small businesses with advice on how they can protect themselves from fraud; particularly when a business is starting.
- The Scottish Government should encourage Scottish businesses to share their data on fraud across different sectors to help prevent further fraud.
- The Scottish Government and Police Scotland should ensure Trading Standards Teams are receiving regular disseminations and information on the latest trends in their area from Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.
- Police Scotland should make tackling fraud and cyber-crime a priority area.
- Police Scotland should ensure local commanders are regularly sent data from Action Fraud and NFIB on the latest frauds and scams happening in their area including details of victims.
- Police Scotland should focus its efforts on tackling organised fraud rings, particularly those they suspect are using the proceeds from their scams and frauds to commit and fund other crime, and prolific fraud rings that are targeting vulnerable people.
- Police Scotland should ensure that all new officers have more detailed information on fraud and scams in their initial police training.
- Police Scotland should use their cadet units to raise awareness of fraud and cyber-crime amongst young people.
- Police Scotland should look to create a unit of Special Constables focused on fraud. The recruitment should encourage recently retired officers, fraud prevention professionals and academics that are specialists in fraud and cyber-crime to join this unit. These special constables should focus on talking to small businesses in their local areas about fraud, any latest scams or frauds local companies are spotting, and offer prevention tips. Through doing this the police should be able to spot local trends and pick up unreported fraud and cyber-crime.
Vulnerable people proposals
- The Scottish Government should work the Home Office Joint Fraud Taskforce Victims and Vulnerable People Strand to start to identify groups who may be vulnerable to scams and fraud. Once these groups have been identified, tailored advice and support should be given.
- The Scottish Government should look at how the Cifas Protecting the Vulnerable Scheme can be used in Scotland and encourage Scotland’s Local Councils and Police Scotland to work with Cifas to expand the scheme to Scotland.
Judicial process proposals
- The Scottish Government should ask the Scottish Sentencing Council to do a wholesale review of the sentencing guidelines and for the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service to do a wholesale review of the judicial process for fraud and scam cases. This should include looking at how more fraud cases can make it through the judicial system; by what support the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service need to bring forward more fraud cases and looking at how jurors and judges can be better supported to understand complex fraud and scam cases.