New fraud taskforce launched by Home Secretary

Home Secretary Theresa May has announced a new joint taskforce designed to combat fraud in the UK.

The force will be made up of the City of London police, Financial Fraud Action UK, the Bank of England, the National Crime Agency, Cifas and bank CEOs.

The scheme aims to share intelligence and generate greater awareness for consumers of the potential risks that fraud can bring.

The taskforce will be responsible for publishing a list of the ten most-wanted criminals committing fraudulent activities.

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It will also work to pinpoint intelligence gaps, identify potential fraud victims and tackle vulnerabilities in computer systems and processes, which criminals seek to exploit.

During the 12 months to March 2015, 230,630 fraudulent offences were processed by police in England and Wales.

Furthermore, an additional 389,718 fraud-related crimes were reported by industry bodies during the same period.

The Home Secretary stated: ‘Fraud shames our financial system. It undermines the credibility of the economy, ruins businesses and causes untold distress to people of all walks of life. For too long, there has been too little understanding of the problem and too great a reluctance to take steps to tackle it.’

The latest data also reveals that CEO or ‘bogus boss’ fraud has increased over the past six months.

Steve Proffitt, Deputy Head of Action Fraud, warned businesses to be on high alert: ‘Employees should be encouraged to double check everything they do and never be rushed into transferring large amounts of money, even if they do think that it’s an important task given to them by their CEO’.

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