Fraud: Coronavirus

Home Office written question – answered on 22nd December 2020.

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Photo of Luke Evans Luke Evans Conservative, Bosworth

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of trends in the level of covid-19 related fraud; and what steps she is taking to prevent those offences.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Minister of State, Home Department

The Government is aware that criminals are exploiting the pandemic to commit opportunistic crimes such as fraud. Although Covid-19 related fraud represents a small proportion of overall fraud reporting, we understand the devastating impact it can have on individuals. Along with partners, we have been implementing measures to ensure the public has the protection and advice needed to shield themselves from these crimes. We have published guidance for the public to spot potential frauds and the steps they can take to avoid them. This advice can accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-fraud-and-cyber-crime

Our efforts include working alongside the National Cyber Security Centre to establish a new Suspicious Email Reporting Service. This service allows the public to report potential scams safely and effectively. To date, this has led to the removal of over 22000 scams. Members of the public can forward suspicious emails to the dedicated email address: report@phishing.gov.uk

We are also working with the Cabinet Office, who lead on the response to public sector fraud, around tracking and mitigating the risk of fraud against the unprecedented levels of stimulus funding including the bounce back loan scheme.

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