Martin Lewis: New fraud strategy, a good first step for scams prevention and prosecution
The Government has announced a new fraud strategy, including specialist investigators and easier scam reporting, in what it says is a plan to turn the tables on fraudsters.
Responding to the news, Martin Lewis says the change in attitude by the Government towards this serious issue is important, and acknowledges it as a good first step – but says it’s likely to be slow going.
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert, who has been working in the background with Number 10 on elements of this policy, said: “The most important change here is one of attitude. It’s only just over a year since the then-Business Secretary said fraud wasn’t a ‘real’ crime. Now it is being made a priority crime, with extra resources and a commitment to reduce it. That’s important.
“Scams are far from a victimless issue. They can destroy people’s physical, financial and mental health. Yet sadly, few are properly investigated, fewer still see any prosecutions, and online many huge tech firms still get paid to promote scams, albeit they plead it is unwitting. I sued Facebook over this five years ago (1), yet still almost daily there are scam adverts, featuring me, there and elsewhere.
“The measures being planned here are a good first step in the right direction. They should improve prevention and prosecution, but it will be slow going. Ultimately this is all about putting enough resources in to build a dam to stop the flood. I hope we will see that happen.”
MoneySavingExpert has a scams guide which has full information on Martin and MSE’s campaign on scam adverts.
Notes to editors:
(1) This was a campaigning defamation lawsuit - Martin settled in January 2019 for a £3m charity donation to set up Citizens Advice Scams Action, and Facebook to install a scam ads reporting button, which then was unique to the UK.
For further comments and interviews, please contact:
Tel: 0203 846 2796