Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, has secured a debate in Parliament on cyber fraud this week. This follows as concerns grow about the scale and scope of the problem.
In his opening speech, Chris Elmore will call for a standardised response and reporting mechanism to shape a set of established norms and expectations that will make reporting easier, alongside tracking reports and timeframes for action.
The British public are now more likely to experience fraud than any other type of crime, with the scale of cyber fraud growing exponentially. During the pandemic there has been a rise in online financial scams in communities across the UK, with Action Fraud commenting that in 2020 they saw nearly 19,000 reports of investment fraud. The real number of cases will be higher, with the stigma of falling victim to a scam preventing many people from coming forward.
Scams are also becoming increasingly sophisticated in copying the look, feel and processes of the legitimate enterprises they are impersonating.
For example, there has been an explosion in the number of NHS scams over the course of the last year, from antibiotics to testing, vaccines to health insurance. Despite the best efforts of NHS England to warn the public about these scams, many people have still been scammed out of significant amounts of money from this type of scam alone.
Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, said:
“The rate at which cyber fraud is spreading, and the number of people subsequentially being affected, is deeply worrying. It is no longer good enough to promote public awareness campaigns about not giving out bank details or spotting fraudulent texts and emails: action is needed from the UK Government with a coordinated response. This must involve financial institutions, government and law enforcement to tackle the issue at the root.
“The UK Government have said that if something is illegal offline, it is illegal online, yet we have seen little evidence that rhetoric is being matched by regulation. If I had not applied for this debate to take place, it wouldn’t even be happening in Parliament. We need to see the UK Government being more proactive in tackling this issue.
“For too long we have rolled over to powerful online platforms. It will require grit and determination to stand up to them, but if the UK Government follow my plan and succeed more nations will follow and real change can be achieved.”