British Government Prepares Task Force to Halt Financial Crimes

  • Richard Marley
  • December 13, 2021
  • 3 minutes read
  • 1680

After observing a 70% increase in push-payment fraud, the UK’s government has devised a task force to combat cybercrimes and secure Britons in the future.

According to law enforcement authorities’ investigations, more than 745 million euros were stolen from clients’ bank accounts through push-payment fraud in the first half of 2021. However, this scam has now increased by 70%.

Push-payment fraud has become the UK’s most commonly occurring crime as cybercriminals use social media platforms, mobile networks, and landline calls to trick out clients to steal their money.

Joe Garner, chief executive of Nationwide building society has been asked to lead the task force initiated by the Treasury. However, he wants other law enforcement departments to also take part in this. 

Criminals have become sophisticated at manipulating the bank security framework to steal money from customers’ accounts. Thanks to telecom companies and Silicon Valley giants that failed to gather fraudsters’ information.

Banks and other financial institutions are under immense pressure to enhance cybersecurity measures and pay compensation to their customers. Most of the banks have been hesitant to refund the victims except in cases where it can be shown that they were careless in their checks. Financial institutions are frustrated at being asked to bear the cost of scams when they have integrated a comprehensive security framework into their systems to secure digital accounts and transactions.

One financial institution’s representative explained the payment of compensation as a system that rewards criminal activity and ‘enriches the perpetrators’.  Millions of pounds have been stolen and are converted into digital currencies after depositing in sham bank accounts created by cybercriminals, making it impossible to trace down the money.

UK finance, the banking sector representative warned in a recent report: “These fraudsters are not cheeky chancers, they are organized, ruthless criminals using sophisticated techniques to trick people out of personal or financial information.”

Therefore, ministers are stressed out to improve the Online Safety Bill to combat scammers. MP Mel Stride, chairman of the Commons Treasury committee, stated it is crystal clear that further actions are needed to secure customers’ money and banks’ credibility.

“We’ve heard heartbreaking stories of individuals who have fallen victim to scammers. We’ve also been calling for online platforms to stop taking advertising pounds from fraudsters and better protect their users as a matter of urgency,” said MP Mel Stride.

Suggested read: UK Finance Sector and Police Stopped £32m Fraud in First Half of 2021