Financial Scamming and Fraud
Fraud is the 21st Century volume crime and an issue which is not going away. With more people sharing data, transacting, setting up businesses, dating and talking online, this trend is set to continue.
Financial scamming and its impact have been receiving a higher public profile in recent months. Although recognised as a growing problem, there is a lack of clear research and evidence into the scale of its causes and the impact on the public.
Frauds and scams are growing crimes. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) England and Wales crime figures showed that 662,519 police recorded fraud offences took place from October 2016 to September 2017 and their Crime Survey showed there were 3.2 million estimated incidents of fraud in the same period.
Who is at risk?
Although it is clear that everybody is a potential victim to this type of crime, the criminals are very clever and use significant resources in order to commit financial scams and fraud. Those at greatest risk are lonely, older people and, specifically, those with a cognitive impairment (such as dementia) who may be unable to safeguard themselves as a result of their health or social care needs.
In 2017 the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Crime and Scamming was set up. The group acts as a voice in Parliament on scams, fraud and wider financial crime. Working together with the National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work and Professional Practice at Bournemouth University who lead the national research in this area on behalf of the National Scams Team and Chartered Trading Standards Institute, they also work alongside key national organisations such as Age UK, Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) and Trading Standards to help tackle this problem.
You can read about some of the work that has been carried out to date below. Projects include:
- Campaigning for changes to how organisations hold personal data
- Delivering TV and Radio broadcasts and attending conferences around topics such as the National Mental Capacity Act Competency Framework
- Raising awareness to the public about the importance of GDPR
- Pushing financial institutions to develop systems which protect vulnerable customers
- Raising awareness to the next generation – pushing to make financial education a compulsory part of the school curriculum
If you have any concerns or would like advice about anything featured in this article, please get in touch with a member of our team.