Personation

Home Office written question – answered at on 20 September 2023.

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Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Exchequer Secretary (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure individuals fraudulently impersonating positions of authority do not undermine trust in (a) the police, (b) financial regulators, (c) ombudsmans and (d) other state institutions.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Minister of State, Home Department

The British public need to be able to trust the institutions that serve them. That is why a central part of the Home Office’s fraud response is blocking the communications individuals use to impersonate organisations and institutional bodies.

In 2019, in collaboration with the banking and telecoms sectors, Ofcom created the ‘Do Not Originate’(DNO) list. It contains over 12,000 phone numbers which are blocked so they cannot be used by fraudsters. This list has successfully protected the public from fraudulent calls and is regularly updated in partnership with the telecommunications sector. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre also operates the NCSC Takedown Service, which works with host providers to remove email addresses and websites impersonating UK Government brands and services.

The forthcoming Online Safety Bill will also give regulators the powers they need to force social media companies to do more to block fraud on their platforms, including fraudulent advertising. These measures will disrupt criminals’ efforts to exploit these platforms to defraud the British public.

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