On Tuesday 4 December 2018 the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Financial Crime and Scamming launched advice to MPs on fraud and scams during the festive period. Rebecca Harris, MP for Castle Point, heard the City of London Police and Cifas the fraud prevention service give fraud prevention advice.
Fraud is now the number one volume crime in the UK. The England and Wales Crime Survey 2017 showed that last year there were 2.73 million victims of fraud. Figures from the fraud prevention service, Cifas, show that identity fraud hit a record high last year with 174,523 cases recorded to Cifas alone and, in statistics released by UK Finance in March, the finance industry stopped £1.4billion in attempted fraud during 2017.
The APPG has worked in collaboration with partners to produce a guide, highlighting major frauds and scams which MPs and their constituents should be aware of and what they can do to protect themselves. This guide outlines the major frauds and scams which MPs and their constituents need to be aware of. The APPG also provided MPs with advice and guidance they can give their constituents of they have been a victim of fraud and on what steps they should take to protect themselves from frauds.
“Fraud is not a victimless crime. It has a devastating impact on its victims and their families. That is why I was pleased to join the launch of this new report into fraud and scams and support the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Crime and Scamming.
I also ask constituents to be aware in the run up to Christmas of frauds and scams. Just because it’s Christmas it does not mean fraudsters stop their crimes – in fact they use it as an opportunity to defraud their victims more. Please be aware and alert to potential scams in the festive season”
City of London Police, the lead police force for fraud, and Action Fraud have released the below advice to counter fraud and scams this festive season:
- If something seems too much of a bargain, it’s probably poor quality, fake or doesn’t exist.
- Don’t pay for goods or services by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud.
- Make sure you’ve installed the latest software & app updates. Criminals use weaknesses in software to attack your devices and steal information, such as your payment details.
- Use a strong, separate password and 2FA to protect your email account. Criminals can use your email to access other online accounts, such as those you use for online shopping.
- Don’t click on a link in an unexpected email or text. The volume of online shopping related phishing emails increases during the holiday period. Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Every Report Matters – if you have been a victim of fraud, report it to us online or by calling 0300 123 2040.