February 1, 2024
Government inaction leaving citizens vulnerable as fraudulent scams rise by 26% – Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has warned that the Government’s failure to take action against the alarming rise in fraud and scams is leaving citizens vulnerable to fraudsters. 

The Donegal TD was speaking following figures released today by FraudSmart which show there was a 26% jump in fraudulent scams in the first half of 2023, with victims losing €8.6 million to fraudsters.

Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:

“Since 2019 we have seen a massive increase in fraud and scams.

“Today’s figures published by the banking industry, showing a 26% increase in fraudulent scams with victims losing €8.6 million in six months alone, show how widespread this threat has become.

“Only this month the Compliance Institute found that fraudulent scams are now the top financial threat in the State.

“I have been raising this issue for over a year, yet the Government have taken no action to tackle fraud and protect consumers.

“In December 2020, the Hamilton Report recommended the development of a multi-annual strategy to combat financial fraud – more than three years later, the Government is yet to publish one.

“This is not acceptable.

“Despite the banking sector repeatedly calling for a Shared Fraud Database to be established, the banks and An Garda Síochána still do not have one.

“These scams are also being advertised online, even sponsored by social media giants and online platforms such as Google. 

“It is clear that clear that online platforms and social media companies are not doing enough to tackle fraudulent content and the targeting of victims through their channels.

“For some time, I have called for significant penalties to be put in place against online platforms and social media companies that host fraudulent adverts.

“I have also called for banks to set up a name cross-check on their payment systems, called Confirmation of Payee, to cross-check the name of the person victims send their money to against the account of the fraudster – a system that operates and works in the Netherlands and Britain.

“Government inaction is leaving citizens increasingly vulnerable, with the Banking and Payments Federation recently warning that Ireland risks becoming a destination of choice for fraudsters.

“It is time to take this threat seriously without delay.”

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