UK.gov 'failing to prevent online fraud'

A spending watchdog report has claimed that the government is failing to do enough to prevent Brits from falling victim to online fraud.

Last year alone, two million cyber-related fraud incidents occurred according to the Public Accounts committee, costing the economy around £10bn.  However, it is estimated that only 20 per cent of the incidents that occurred were actually reported to the authorities.

The chair of the body, Meg Hillier stressed that the government must do more to inform and protect Brits against online fraud, saying: 

“The government must get better at explaining the tricks employed by fraudsters to target different groups, and set out clearly the action it is taking to tackle them.” 

As of now, the Home Office has not yet put arrangements into place to deliver a “coordinated and effective” response to online fraud or to report on the progress made in preventing it. 

The report also highlighted the fact that banks are also to blame when it comes to the spread of online fraud in the UK.  The banking industry has not done enough to prevent online fraud and it is difficult to gauge the progress individual banks are making in tackling the issue. 

During the recent budget announcement, Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced that the government would be cracking down on fraud in online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay by ensuring that these platforms are held liable for VAT which currently costs tax payers £1.2bn each year. 

Image Credit: Gustavo Frazao / Shutterstock