The rise of scammers

BBC One Panorama reported on 16th August 2021 about the rise of scamming as a means of fraud. 

Fraud makes up 40% of all crime and last year was said to cost victims £2 billion.   

The Panorama programme looked into a number of different scams, perhaps the most alarming being the use of One Time Passwords instigated by scammers where victims are deceived into believing that by providing such passcodes, they are protecting their bank accounts. 

The Online Safety Bill was criticised for proposing too little to combat fraud.  The social media companies were criticised for taking too long to respond to requests to take down illegal content or stolen details, if at all. 

School children, from as young as Year 10, are encouraged through glamorous adverts to get involved in “clicking”, a form of fraud that costs victims £250 million a year. 

Banks themselves report fraud to the National Fraud Database run by the Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance Service, or CIFAS, which blacklists those who are suspected of fraudulent activity from getting credit for up to 6 years. 

The problem is so pervasive that unless Government and Social Media companies do more to prevent fraud by stopping scammers from developing a social media footprint then innocent victims of fraud will always be at risk. 

Some victims may be eligible for reimbursement from their banks through the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code, but where banks suspect that the victims have not done enough to protect themselves such as by being extremely careless then they should not expect to receive their money back.  

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