UK Gov Secures Global Pact to Combat Fraud

The Home Secretary has secured a new agreement with world leaders to tackle fraud.

All G7 and Five Eyes nations, as well as Singapore and South Korea, have agreed a communiqué which recognises fraud as an organised, transnational threat that has become one of the most prevalent global issues.

The document, released on day 1 of the world's first Global Fraud Summit, sets out a 4-point framework to combat fraud together.

Under this framework, signatories have pledged to enhance law enforcement cooperation, improve victim support and bolster intelligence sharing.

Nations have also set out a clear requirement for collaboration with the private sector to prevent fraud.

Home Secretary James Cleverly said:  

We've been clear that the global community needs to unite to fight fraud head on and this communique is a massive step forward.  

The United Kingdom and our friends at this summit possess the finest law enforcement agencies in the world.

We have already reduced fraud by 13% in England and Wales. New action from the international community will help reduce that even further.

Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said:

Fraud is a cruel crime that wrecks lives around the world.

This communiqué will strengthen and step up international joint working to fight fraud, showing our Fraud Strategy continues to deliver.

The communiqué recognises the impact of fraud is devastating and universal across the world, even if specific crime types may vary in different regions.

It paves the way for closer working practices between international law enforcement agencies.

Intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies will be ramped up, with operational resources also enhanced. This will help ensure a comprehensive threat picture is maintained, and that action is taken against criminals operating across borders.

Nations will also to explore ways to improve the repatriation of fraudulently acquired funds from bank accounts across jurisdictions and recover illicitly gained assets.

The use of all diplomatic levers, including sanctions and visa bans, to disrupt organised crime groups will also be further explored.

Separate to the communiqué, a new operational arrangement between the UK and the US was confirmed by the Home Secretary. That agreement was a new way of working between the NCA, FBI, United States Secret Service and Homeland Security Investigations to specifically tackle call centre fraud.

The communiqué also outlines the necessity of preventing fraud.

Global citizens are spending an increasing amount of time online, which has provided fraudsters with an opportunity to target victims through digital platforms. Around 80% of fraud experienced in the UK is estimated to be cyber-enabled.

Nations have therefore made it clear that industry, including social media companies and online messaging platforms, are expected to take further action to prevent fraud. This includes an increased effort to identify and remove fraudulent posts.

The UK has led the way in this approach, with the launch of the Online Fraud Charter in November 2023. The charter sees leading tech companies committing to a series of preventative fraud measures including requiring dating sites to allow their users to opt to interact with verified people only, verifying new advertisers and swifter take down of fraudulent posts.

The summit will continue tomorrow (Tuesday), with a series of working level meetings between government officials, the private sector, law enforcement and civil society organisations.

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