Which? Recommends fraud minister to tackle 40% of all UK crime: fraud

According to figures from UK Finance, the UK’s banking and financial services trade association, losses due to fraud over the past year have exceeded £1 billion, equating to £2,300 stolen every minute . More must be done to stop this. Therefore, Which?the consumer choice advisor, recommended that the next prime minister appoint a minister responsible for fraud.

The fight against fraud requires coordinated action between several government ministries and sectors of activity. No single company or department can solve the problem alone. However, something must be done, as 40 per cent of crimes committed in England and Wales are fraudulent.

The next government must prioritize fraud by appointing a fraud minister who can take the urgent action needed across government and business to finally turn the tide.

This means ensuring that tech giants, responsible for platforms that are often the keystone of a fraudster’s journey, are held accountable by Ofcom to prevent fraudulent activities before they reach consumers and, if they slip through the net, remove them quickly.

This also means that banks and payment providers ensure that victims are treated fairly and reimbursed quickly.

Rocio ConchaRocio Concha
Rocio Concha, director of policy and advocacy at Which?

Rocio Conch, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said: “The fraud epidemic continues to ruin people’s lives every year, but progress in combating it is too slow due to a lack of leadership and coordination between government and commercial sectors.

“The next government must show it will make tackling this terrible crime a national priority and appoint a fraud minister to bring sectors together and drive real change quickly. This will benefit UK citizens, businesses and growth.

And after?

New obligations, equivalent to existing obligations for banks and online platforms, should be imposed on telecommunications providers, online advertisers and domain registrars to ensure they verify the legitimacy of users.

The fraud minister must also show leadership by removing barriers to sharing fraud intelligence between businesses in different sectors, law enforcement and government departments – a vital step in weeding out fraudsters as soon as possible .

The consumer champion is calling for updated product safety laws and forcing digital marketplaces to prevent the sale of unsafe products on their websites. It also says there should be an overhaul of trading standards to ensure an effective enforcement system that meets the expectations of responsible consumers and businesses.

Also, which one? recommends stimulating Civil Aviation Authority powers to impose fines on airlines for breaches of consumer law. He also suggested mandatory certification for installers of sustainable home improvements like insulation and heat pumps.

Finally, the provision of long-awaited pensions dashboards so that savers can make more informed decisions about their retirement.