With the Treasury Committee publishing a report urging the Government to get to grips with the UK’s fraud epidemic, Martin Wilson, CEO of Digital Identity Net, emphasised that ‘the UK government and law enforcement can’t tackle this alone’.

According to the report there were 5.1 million digital fraud offences in the year ending September 2021, as it continues to have a significant impact on the payment space and how it operates.

Evaluating the problem and the steps that can be taken to tackle it, Wilson stated: “Digital fraud has increased exponentially over the past couple of years with 5.1 million offences reported in the year ending September 2021. It’s a major problem, particularly in the payments space where there was a 71% increase in authorised push payment (APP) fraud in the first half of 2021 and, for the first time, the amount of money stolen through APP fraud overtook card fraud losses.

“The UK government and law enforcement can’t tackle this alone. We need the private and public sectors to play their part in building a trusted digital identity utility which lets people prove who they are. 

“Using data held by the banks, which have verified the identity of 98% of the UK population, a digital identity system will enable people to prove they are who they say who they are and verify the identity of the person on the other end of the transaction. This type of system has the power to dramatically reduce all types of fraud.”

It comes at a time when economic stability and responsibility is magnified in importance as we emerge from the pandemic, in what is a key time for the country’s recovery. 

Furthermore, commenting on the report, Rt. Hon. Mel Stride MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, stated: “For too long, pernicious scammers have acted with impunity, ripping off innocent consumers with fraudulent online adverts, impersonation scams and dodgy crypto investments.

“Unfortunately, fraud has soared during the pandemic, and as MPs we’ve heard heart-breaking stories of individuals who have fallen victim to these criminals and lost large sums of money.

“While the Government has made some progress in this area, we’re today calling on them to push harder and act faster on the growing fraud epidemic. Some of our recommendations, such as legislating against online scam adverts, can be implemented quickly. Others, including crypto regulation and Companies House reform, will require a longer-term approach. Taken together, our proposals give the UK a fighting chance to get back on the front foot and stop these scammers in their tracks.”