Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, has asked the Government to make sure that this year’s budget includes a clear focus on tackling the serious and growing issue of fraud and its effect on UK plc.
The most recent Office of National Statics England and Wales Crime Survey included fraud offences for the first time and an estimated 5.1 million fraud offences were included. Of those there were 606,601 fraud offences recorded as Police Recorded Crime, of which Cifas data accounted for almost half - 266,701 - of these offences.
Cifas acknowledges that the Government and the last Coalition Government have made a good start in tackling fraud through the Local Government Fraud Strategy, UK Anti-Corruption Plan, tackling fraud and error in the benefits and tax credit system, creating the Insurance Fraud Taskforce, and most recently launching the Home Office Joint Fraud Taskforce.
However, much more can be done and in a time of reduced budgets Cifas has asked the Government to further help private, public, third sector organisations and law enforcement tackle and prevent fraud by introducing the following measures in this year’s budget:
Simon Dukes, Cifas Chief Executive, said:
“For far too long fraud has been seen as a victimless crime, however for businesses, especially smaller companies, charities and individuals there can be very real and devastating long-term consequences.
“The last Annual Fraud Indicator in 2013 estimated that fraud cost the UK £52 billion that year. Since then we have seen an increase in the number of fraud offences recorded on our database and this year we are forecasting another significant rise.
“While we recognise we can never stop all frauds, we believe the Government can do more in the fight against fraud. We believe that if our measures were reflected in this year’s budget they would make a real difference in tackling and preventing further fraud in the UK.”
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Cifas aims to make the UK a safer place to do business, by enabling organisations in every sector to prevent fraud and protect the public through the sharing of confirmed fraud data.
Cifas is a not-for-profit organisation and has over 350 members spanning the public and private sectors. In 2014 alone, Cifas members prevented over £1 billion of avoidable fraud losses by using Cifas databases. Cifas also offers Protective Registration for individuals whose identities are at risk of being used fraudulently, for instance after a burglary.
In 2014, Cifas launched a new scheme called Protecting the Vulnerable. This service is offered free of charge to local authorities to protect those under the care of Court Deputies who are unable to access financial products and whose identities may be at risk.
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