Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, is being scrapped. The gateway between the police and those hit by financial crime, Action Fraud has received thousands of complaints. A Times investigation also revealed that Action Fraud’s telephone handlers were trained to make victims believe that their cases would be investigated while they were almost never looked at.
Critics have argued that Action Fraud is not fit for purpose with:
- Just one-in-200 police officers assigned to fraud investigations
- As little as one-in-50 reports leading to a fraudster being caught.
After commissioning a review of fraud policing in the UK, the Home Office admitted that the police are not currently equipped to deal with fraud crimes adequately.
What will replace Action Fraud?
In its new Beating Crime Plan, the Government has pledged to provide better support for victims. More resources will be put into investigating fraud and Action Fraud will be replaced by an improved reporting system. An additional force dedicated to cybercrime will also be established under the remit of the National Crime Agency (NCA). This body will investigate more complex and serious fraud cases. The Government believes this new approach will increase arrests and prosecutions.
Building capability and capacity to deal with fraud and online crime is a key objective of the Government’s plan, which states:
“As we increasingly rely on technology and spend greater proportions of our lives online, criminals seek to exploit whatever digital opportunities they can. Fraud and cyber-related offences are growing rapidly and now make up over 50% of all crime. These are long-term threats which we must address now, for the sake of individual victims but also for the health of our economy. This plan outlines how we are already investing in ways to tackle these crimes as well as making sure we are one step ahead of the criminals.”
However, while a radical change to tackle fraud and cybercrime is welcome, there are concerns that most victims of fraud still do not report it, and this also needs to be tackled. Especially as fraud and cybercrime can have a devastating impact on both the financial and mental wellbeing of victims. The Government plan acknowledges this impact stating that:
“Victims of cybercrime describe the impact as similar to ‘physical world’ crimes, with significant and long-term emotional and wellbeing impacts created through the ‘violation’ of criminals hacking into their accounts and not knowing what further harm may come from the attacks.”
Make a cybercrime claim
What can you claim for?
When most people think of cybercrime, they imagine losing money to scammers and fraudsters. And that can happen. But the impact of cybercrime is often much more complicated. In many cases, the worry caused by having your details and identity stolen can be significant. Some victims suffer emotional stress and distress, and existing mental health conditions can be exacerbated. So, even if you don’t lose any money, the impact of cybercrime can be devastating.
What’s more, our cybercrime lawyers often see cases where financial losses or emotional trauma only start to occur months later. So the full impact of cybercrime is not always apparent and can be long-lasting.
At Keller Lenkner UK, our expert data breach lawyers are here to help you get your life back on track following a cybercrime. And we’ll help secure the maximum compensation possible to compensate for any loss and upset. While each case is judged on its own merits, when claiming compensation for a data breach, the court will consider:
- Financial losses. With stolen data, cybercriminals can make purchases using your bank and credit cards, apply for credit in your name, set up fraudulent bank accounts and access your existing online accounts.
- Emotional distress. Cybercrime and data breaches can have a significant impact on you, both mentally and physically. They can cause or exacerbate anxiety, stress, and other psychological conditions.
- Loss of privacy. Your data has value, and organisations must be held to account if they fail to protect your right to data privacy.