UK Unveils New Fraud Strategy to “Tackle Fraud at its Source.”

May 10, 2023

When technology rises up to customers’ demands, it is immediately studied and weaponized by fraudsters looking to make a quick buck.

In fact, fraud accounts for 40% of all crime in the UK, and it costs people a whopping £7 billion per year. As a result, the government unveiled plans to “take the fight” against scammers, plans that were met with mixed reactions.

Rishi Sunak unveiled the ‘National Fraud Squad’, an organization led by the National Crime Agency in conjunction with the City of London Police, which promises to put 400 new specialist investigators to work cracking down on crime, and “tackle fraud at its source.”

In addition, the government has announced plans to work closely with international partners to extend the fight overseas.

Ofcom will come on board to reduce the number of spoofing cases, where fraudsters impersonate banks or other legitimate businesses in order to trick people out of their money or important passwords.

It was also announced that £30 million will be invested into a reporting centre, and that technology companies will assist to make it easier for victims to report fraud online.

Regardless of which social media platform you use, it should become possible to find the ‘report’ button with a single click

Another measure is giving banks more time to process payments in order to allow them to investigate  further suspicious payments.

According to Nick Kerpe, head of customer relations at FCA- regulated authorized payment institution, Moevium, this move by the government is “very much a welcome one.”

(These measures) will serve to protect the public as well as ensure a good market presence for the provision of genuine financial products by bona fide firms who will be able to provide valuable information to customers on new products without customers having to worry whether it is genuine or not.

Zoe Newman, regional managing director, EMEA and global co-head of the Financial Investigations practice at risk and financial advisory solution provider, Kroll, said the government’s new proposal is ‘significant’, and if it were to succeed, relations with international agencies would need to form quickly.

sharing intel with partner enforcement agencies. Tackling organised international crime requires an organised international response and this is something which unfortunately has been lacking in the past.

Colum Lyons, CEO of ID-Pal, said it will take more than a policy change, and we could reap the benefits of AI-powered fraud prevention.

As fraudsters develop ever-increasing ways of committing fraud and financial crime, businesses have a responsibility to ensure that they are using the most secure, advanced tools to verify their customers as part of their Know Your Customer (KYC) obligations and to safeguard their personal information at all times. (…) There also needs to be a fundamental cultural shift across not only financially regulated sectors to prioritise how to securely capture, verify and store customer identity documents but the same shift is needed amongst providers of fraud prevention technologies too. We need to embrace the benefits of a fully digital identity verification process. Otherwise, organisations will leave themselves with a fraud prevention strategy that is not fit for purpose. By not having a unified approach across all channels, sectors and providers, we’re allowing fraudsters to win.

Fraudsters are getting bolder by the day, and it is imperative for governments around the globe to tackle the issue at its source. Hopefully the new resources will make a difference in the fight against fraud, prompting agencies around the world to follow in the UK’s footsteps.

Want to learn more? Check out The Fintech Times’ full write-up  here.

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