Department for Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 23rd December 2015.

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Photo of Baroness Kennedy of Cradley Baroness Kennedy of Cradley Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the adequacy of the law to protect vulnerable people from phone phishing and other communication scams.

Photo of Baroness Neville-Rolfe Baroness Neville-Rolfe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Government is cracking down on nuisance calls. Over the last five years the average fine issued has increased from around £5000 to £85000, we have strengthened the law to make it easier to clamp down on companies who break the rules and have increased the maximum fine to £500,000.

The Government takes all types of fraud extremely seriously. We are working closely with the City of London Police (CoLP), the national lead force for fraud, to help local forces and partners deliver protective advice to the public on fraud, including phone scams. CoLP operates Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, to ensure that the public has the information they need to protect themselves from telephone fraud. Action Fraud, for example, places an alert on its website when a serious threat or new type of fraud is identified - which members of the public can sign up to receive by email.

We are also working with Financial Fraud Action UK and the British Bankers’ Association who issue advice to consumers on how to protect themselves from phone scammers. Ofcom work with the Metropolitan Police Service, Action Fraud and landline providers to prevent criminals exploiting phone lines to defraud members of the public.

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