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Cifas challenges government to do more to tackle fraud epidemic

15 May 2024

UK-leading fraud prevention service Cifas has this week officially launched its ‘Fraud Pledges 2024’ – a set of proposals requesting the government commit to reforms and prevention strategies that better protect communities and UK businesses from fraud.

Fraud represents approximately 38% of all crime in England and Wales and has more than doubled in Scotland over the past nine years, recent statistics from the government’s ‘Stop! Think Fraud’ campaign revealed.

However, only 1% of policing resources are allocated to tackling this issue that not only severely harms victims personally and financially but also negatively impacts the UK’s economy and funds serious organised crime.

Helena Wood, Director of Public Policy for Cifas and Cifas CEO Mike Haley formally delivered the pledges document to 10 Downing Street on 15 May.

The reforms challenge the government to 'do more' and provide greater counter-fraud assurances.

The Cifas Fraud Pledges are:

  • Provide cross-government leadership in the response to fraud
  • Improve the policing response to fraud
  • Enhance support to victims of fraud
  • Make the criminal justice response fit for tackling 21st Century fraud
  • Require social media and online platforms to join the multi-sector response to fraud

Interestingly, following a Cifas-commissioned survey of 2,000 UK voters, over a quarter (27%*) felt the proposal to modernise the criminal justice system (Pledge number 4) was the ‘most important’ of all five pledges.

Mike Haley, CEO of Cifas, said: The Government’s 2023 Fraud Strategy was a good starting point, however, more needs to be done to tackle the epidemic of fraud. Our pledges set out the next generation of fraud reforms for a future government.’

Helena Wood, Director of Public Policy at Cifas, commented: ‘Fraud is the crime to which UK adults are most likely to fall victim. We must prioritise this by creating a specific Minister for Economic Crime, providing ring-fenced resources for policing, and by ensuring social media and tech companies work with the counter-fraud community closely to fight fraud.’

Backing the Cifas’ Fraud Pledges 2024 is Kathryn Westmore, Senior Research Fellow at Royal United Services Institute, who added: ‘While the UK seems to have got off the starting blocks, it will need to accelerate its efforts to keep up with ever-changing threat of fraud. Cifas’ Fraud Pledges 2024 reforms demonstrate how the UK’s response to fraud could evolve to strengthen the UK’s defences and provide better outcomes to victims.’

To officially launch the Fraud Pledges 2024, Cifas invited government officials and industry specialists for a VIP panel discussion at Portcullis House.

Co-hosted with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption and Responsible Tax, the debate, entitled, ‘The UK Fraud Epidemic – Turning the Tide on Fraud and Scams’ included exclusive insight from Mr Haley, Emily Thornberry MP, the Prime Minister’s anti-fraud champion, Simon Fell MP, with Dame Magaret Hodge chairing. The group discussed practical and workable ways forward to better protect the public and UK economy from the rising national security threat.

Read and download the Cifas Fraud Pledges 2024 here.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact Hayley Paterson, Cifas Press and PR Manager, on 020 4551 7072 or press@cifas.org.uk.

About Cifas

For over three decades, Cifas has been dedicated to fighting fraud and financial crime through data-sharing, intelligence, and learning. The not-for-profit member organisation continues to work collaboratively with more than 700 UK members – who represent various sectors including banking and finance, insurance, telecommunications, and retail – to protect individuals and businesses. In 2023, Cifas helped these organisations prevent around £1.8bn in fraud losses.

Cifas works alongside law enforcement agencies in tackling fraud, and its data is also included in the Office of National Statistics England and Wales Crime Statistics of police recorded crime. Website | LinkedIn | X

*Survey methodology

The survey was carried out by Opinion Matters on behalf of Cifas with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK voters between 8-10 May 2024. For more from this research, contact Hayley Paterson, Cifas Press and PR Manager, at: press@cifas.org.uk

Opinion Matters is an independent market research agency that create bespoke market research solutions for businesses, organisations, and agencies worldwide. Opinion Matters abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

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Posted by: Cifas Press Team
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