UK Hosts First Global Fraud Summit with World Leaders

International ministers are set to agree new action to take down fraudsters as the first ever Global Fraud Summit begins today.

Home Secretary James Cleverly will discuss the threats posed by organised crime groups, and how global law enforcement can tackle it, during a series of meetings with senior ministers and representatives from the G7, Five Eyes, Singapore and South Korea, at Lancaster House.

Ministers will explore how closer partnerships with the private sector can be used to counter criminality and reimburse victims of crime.

The need for a bolstered law enforcement response is clear, with a forthcoming INTERPOL threat assessment expected to show a concerning rise in fraud in all corners of the globe.

Senior leaders from the world's biggest companies will also be in attendance, to explore further ways of collaboration with the private sector.

Home Secretary James Cleverly said:

This summit delivers on yet another pledge we made to the British people in our Fraud Strategy and is a clear sign of the UK's status as a world leader.

Fraudsters have no regard for boundaries, they devastate citizens in all our countries. We will only put a stop to this scourge if we fight it head on together, and that's precisely what we plan to do.

Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said:

Fraud ruins lives. Con artists and thieves are a threat to hard-working families across the country.

The action we've taken has already reduced fraud by 13% in England and Wales. However, the majority of frauds originate from overseas, and many are linked to international crime groups.

That's why we're hosting the first ever global fraud summit. To lead the international response. And to help bring the global community into this global fight.

Fraud is a global problem, with around 70% of all offences in the UK having ties to overseas criminals, with £3 billion lost to overseas accounts last year. Reversing this trend is not possible without a united global community.

INTERPOL's latest report shows fraud is often perpetrated by organised criminal groups, including human traffickers, who force people to work in scam centres which target potential victims of fraud across the world.

A key aim of the summit is to increase partnership work between law enforcement agencies, such as the National Crime Agency, the FBI, INTERPOL, Europol and the Japan National Police Agency. Sharing more intelligence, expertise and resources will help turn the tide against fraudsters.

INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock said:

Changes in technology and the rapid increase in the scale and volume of organized crime has driven the creation of a range of new ways to defraud innocent people, business and even governments. Urgent action is required.

It is important that there are no safe havens for financial fraudsters to operate. We must close existing gaps and ensure information sharing between sectors and across borders is the norm, not the exception. This Summit is both timely, and needed.

Attending nations will not be starting from zero.

In 2022, UK law enforcement agencies worked with international partners, including the FBI, and Europol, to take down an online service known as iSpoof. The website was used to make more than 10 million fraudulent phone calls Its administrator was jailed for more than 13 years.

The UK, United States and Canada also issued a joint sanctions package against human rights abusers who were forcing trafficked people to work at scam farms in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, in December 2023.

Graeme Biggar, Director General of the National Crime Agency, said:

Over 70% of fraud has an international element, and it is clear that we need an efficient and effective joint response with partners across the globe.

The Global Fraud Summit is an important step forward, bringing together colleagues from the public and private sectors to tackle this persistent and pervasive threat.

It is a priority for the National Crime Agency to reduce the harm that fraud causes, and it is events like this that will help us make an impact at scale.

Temporary Commissioner Peter O'Doherty, from the City of London Police, said:

Fraud is a global threat, requiring a global response from senior leaders from around the world, including law enforcement agencies and industry partners, working together to effectively tackle the ever-growing threat to all our populations.

As the national lead force for fraud in the UK, we work in partnership with international law enforcement agencies to pursue those who seek to defraud the public. Fraudsters don't recognise international boundaries and nor should we. This summit is an important opportunity to further build our overseas partnerships.

Industry collaboration to prevent fraud will also be a key focus, which is why senior figures from the world's biggest companies will also be in attendance. This provides a unique opportunity for international lawmakers to engage with private sector in one place.

The Summit will encourage greater collaboration between Government and industry to tackle fraud.

The UK is spearheading collaboration with the private sector, as shown by the world-first Online Fraud Charter, a voluntary agreement the UK agreed with 12 leading tech companies in November 2023. It includes measures to verify sellers on peer-to-peer marketplaces, promptly remove fraudulent advertising and allow people using online dating services to only interact with people who have confirmed their identities.

Partner countries agreeing similar charters will severely hinder fraudsters, who rely upon new technologies to commit fraud.

The UK will also raise the prospect of creating a mechanism to repatriate funds that are lost overseas due to fraud.

Antony Walker, Deputy CEO, techUK said:

The Global Fraud Summit will provide tech companies with the platform to build upon their existing efforts and enable better and more consistent cooperation between the private sector, government, and law enforcement in the fight against fraud and online scams.

As the nature of online fraud continues to evolve, tech companies remain committed to taking measures against online fraud, adapting their approaches to effectively counter this criminal activity and protect users.

David Postings, Chief Executive of UK Finance, said:

Fraud is a global problem and we know the devastating impact it has on people. The UK and its financial services sector are at the forefront of efforts to tackle this criminal activity.

We're delighted to be part of the UK government's international summit and will continue working to stop fraud from happening in the first place.

It is anticipated all attending nations will agree a communique, pledging more combined action to fight fraud.

Day two of the summit will consist entirely of working level meetings between the private sector, civil society and senior civil servants from across the world.

Attending overseas ministers are:

  • Stephen Jones, Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, Australia
  • Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs, Canada
  • Sabrina Agresti-Roubache, Secretary of State for Citizenship, France
  • Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of the Interior and Community, Germany
  • Matteo Piantedosi, Minister of the Interior, Italy
  • Yoshinobu Kusunoki, Deputy Commissioner of the National Police Agency, Japan
  • Casey Costello, Minister for Customs, Seniors, New Zealand
  • Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information, Singapore
  • Lee Sang-Min, Minister of the Interior and Safety, South Korea
  • Arun G. Rao, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, United States
  • Kelli Ann Burriesci, Deputy Under Secretary for Office of Strategy, Policy and Plans, Department for Homeland Security, United States
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