Big tech and banks conspire in new scheme to combat fraud
An alliance of banks, tech companies and telecoms groups are set to pilot a new scheme to collect information on scammers as attempts to tackle the UK’s fraud epidemic step up a notch.
The new group, Stop Scams UK, has members including the UK’s largest incumbent banks, challenger banks, telecoms providers and big tech firms. The alliance will collect information on scammers using phone numbers and email addresses provided by its members.
The pilot will launch in the next month when Stop Scams‘ members will begin to operate around 300 phone numbers and 100 email addresses so as to interact with scammers and then follow the trail back to collect information on how fraudsters operate.
Simon Miller, director of policy and communications at Stop Scams UK, told City A.M. “we’re very pleased to be leading the way on this.”
“The pilot will provide extremely valuable information on how scams operate,” Miller said, saying it would “create an incredibly rich, first-hand evidence of scammers’ modus operandi.”
The scheme comes amid a flurry of activity to combat fraud as concerns grow over the scale of the problem. According to figures from trade body UK Finance, over £1.2bn was stolen by scammers in 2022.
The government launched its fraud strategy last month which included plans to clamp down on spoof numbers as well as the creation of a National Fraud Squad.
However, some criticised the government’s strategy for watering down proposals which would have made big tech companies reimburse victims of fraud, arguing that the majority of fraud starts online.
Going further, chief executive of fintech firm Tide Oliver Prill said the plans were “nowhere near enough”. Prill called for an anti-fraud tax which would be levied across the value chain, including on social media companies.