PIMFA, the trade association for the wealth management and financial advice industry, is disappointed but not surprised by the latest data from Action Fraud showing the average fraud suffered by victims amounted to £45,000. Without change to hold online platforms to account this is only likely to get worse.
Liz Field, chief executive of PIMFA, commented:“Website cloning of legitimate financial services firms and other forms of online fraud are becoming more prevalent, and are something we have been warning about for some time. Such scams show how sophisticated fraudsters have become. It is a cause of deep frustration to our members and the Regulator that they can do little more themselves to combat these criminals and prevent harm from being perpetuated, than report such frauds to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Domain Name Registration services and online platforms.
“The victims of such frauds are left to turn to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme but every person that has had to do so has, in PIMFA’s view, already suffered a bad outcome that could have been avoided.
“One way such frauds could be prevented would be for the Government to include economic harm within its upcoming Online Safety Bill. In doing so it could require online platforms, ISPs and Domain Name Registration services, to take swifter action against fraudsters, or take preventative action to stop fraudsters reaching their victims in the first place. Such a move has widespread industry support and it is an opportunity that should be grasped.”