Chris Elmore MP has called on the UK Government to prioritise economic crime as vulnerable communities across Wales continue to be targeted by scams.
The DVLA recently reported a 20 per cent rise in scams on the same period of the previous year, with 1,538 cases being reported about suspected vehicle tax scams during October to December 2019.
Phishing scams via emails and text messages are regularly sent from criminals and to the untrained eye, or to those less familiar with technology, can look very convincing. Chris has been campaigning hard to tackle this issue since he was first elected, believing it should now be made a strategic policing priority.
Speaking during a debate on policing, the Ogmore MP said that the National Policing Board needed to prioritise this issue to get to grips with the fraudsters who are “becoming increasingly clever in taking people’s money”.
Chris Elmore MP said:
“This is becoming a very common crime; scammers are finding more and more ways to trick people out of their money and the internet is giving them a largely unregulated and unpoliced forum through which to do this.
“From the elderly to those seeking love on dating websites, there is no one these criminals will not target and the Government needs to take action to protect people.”
UK Finance released statistics in time for Valentine’s Day earlier this month that showed that over half of those using dating services online were leaving themselves vulnerable to being scammed. In the first half of 2019, £7.9 million was lost to romance scams, which represented a 50% increase on the previous year.
“When people think of economic crime, they often think of money laundering and serious fraud. While these are significant crimes and are a threat to the UK economy, most people are more likely to be personally affected by scams targeting individuals.
“This might not seem a serious crime, but scammers can trick people out of their life savings, leaving people desperate. It’s time the UK Government made tackling scams a strategic policing priority.”