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Government aims to ‘transform the fight’ in anti-fraud campaign

Government aims to ‘transform the fight’ in anti-fraud campaign
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

The Government has launched a national campaign against fraudsters with a TV advert asking viewers to ‘stay ahead of scams’.

Its ‘Stop! Think Fraud’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the wide-ranging types of fraud, which costs society around £6.8bn, according to data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales.

Although fraud has reduced by 13% in the last year, its data shows offences have more than doubled in Scotland over the last nine years.

Further, recent UK Finance figures show households were on track to lose over £1bn to scammers in 2023 alone.

In its efforts to “transform the fight against fraudsters” who con people through courier fraud, fake online retailers, and identity theft, the Government has sought advice from counter-fraud experts, set to be shared on a new online fraud hub.

The 30-plus companies involved in assisting the campaign include Barclays, the social media giant Meta, and Match Group, the parent company of dating apps Tinder and Hinge.

TV and radio ads to form ambitious plan to target 95% of UK adults

This website will provide “concise, simple to follow” advice and will signpost victims to the relevant charity or organisation for support.

As well as the online hub, there will be billboards and social media posts carrying the ‘Stop! Think Fraud’ messaging, plus radio and TV adverts too. The Government is hopeful that 95% of UK adults will witness this campaign in some form.

Security minister Tom Tugendhat hopes more focused communication will bring clarity to UK households when it comes to fraud, something he feels was potentially lacking in the past.

Fresh anti-fraud campaign will ‘remove confusion’

Tugendhat said: “Fraud ruins lives. Following this advice will give people the best tips to stop fraudsters from stealing their hard-earned cash, and point them towards all the help and information on offer.

“Our fraud strategy is successfully turning the tide against fraudsters. This new campaign will share the details we all need to defend ourselves and our friends.

“It has been created to empower a mass audience, with a new website providing vital guidance on how to spot fraud, stay safe, and what to do if targeted.”

Tugendhat added: “The campaign has far-reaching support among the tech, financial, and retail sectors, as well as law enforcement, victim care agencies, and consumer groups. Supporting agencies have pledged to prominently display the ‘Stop! Think Fraud’ advice and share it among their stakeholders.

“They will also update pre-existing fraud advice they have shared in public places and replace it with the Stop! Think Fraud messaging and branding. This one clear set of advice will remove confusion, which was a risk with so many different campaigns previously existing in the same space.”