CIFAS URGES DECISIVE ACTION OVER ONLINE SAFETY BILL AMID SPIKE IN FRAUD
5 December 2022
- Cases filed to the National Fraud database up nearly a fifth on previous year
- Majority of Identity Fraud now carried out online
- Cifas urges the government to protect millions of consumers through Online Safety Bill
Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, is urging the government to take action as cases of fraud continue to rise – raising concerns that 2022 may see the highest ever levels of fraud recorded.
Latest figures reveal that there were over 309,000 cases recorded to the National Fraud Database, up 17% when compared to the same period in 2021.
Identity Fraud remains a serious concern, accounting for 68% of cases filed to the National Fraud Database. Cases rose by 34% in 2022 when compared to the previous year, with the majority of these (86%) as a result of online channels.
As the cost of living crisis deepens, there is concern that a growing number of people may become victims of phishing campaigns and online fraud aimed at stealing financial and personal information.
The latest Cifas research has revealed that more than 7 out of 10 people have been targeted by scams such as false discounts from energy and insurance companies, as well as online adverts offering shopping discounts and ‘celebrity endorsed’ bogus investments opportunities. In addition, a number of social media platforms are being used by criminals to offer fake opportunities to work from home and make money quickly. These adverts are specifically aimed at those struggling financially as a result of the ongoing economic uncertainty and – in particular - single parents.
With the latest amendments to the Online Safety Bill due to be discussed by MPs on December 5th 2022, Cifas is urging the Government to take urgent action to avoid a growing number of people falling victim to scams. The Bill will ensure that platforms which host user-generated content and search engines will have a duty of care to ensure that users are better protected against fraud.
Mike Haley, CEO of Cifas, said: ‘The large majority of fraud and financial crime starts online, and the increasing use of digital technology has led to greater opportunities for criminals to commit fraud. If we are going to respond effectively to these new and emerging fraud threats, it is crucial that we keep pace with the ever-evolving methods of fraudsters.
‘I am pleased that the government at last recognises that social media platforms and search engines must take greater responsibility for protecting consumers. The Online Safety Bill is a one-time opportunity to protect millions of consumers from fraud, and as criminals continue to take advantage of people struggling with the cost of living crisis, the government needs to take decisive action as a matter of urgency.’
Notes to editors
Interviews with Mike Haley are available.
Cifas is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation that protects businesses and individuals through effective and secure data and intelligence sharing between the private, public and third sectors. In 2021, Cifas member organisations prevented over £1.3 billion of fraud losses.
Cifas data is included in the Office of National Statistics England and Wales Crime Statistics of police recorded crime and works alongside law enforcement agencies in tackling fraud.
For more information, please contact:
Corinne Gladstone, Cifas Head of Strategic Communications
Back to newsroom >
FRAUD FOCUS – ROYAL MAIL SCAMS, VISA FRAUD AND A RISE IN LOAN-FEE FRAUD
20 December 2022
Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, is highlighting the latest fraud threats, and warning the public to stay vigilant of the ever-changing tactics that scammers are using to extract money and information.
Biggest weekend for online shopping beckons scammers
25 November 2022