May 24, 2023
Lack of government strategy on fraud is leaving consumers vulnerable to scams – Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has said that the government’s failure to bring forward a Multi-Annual Strategy to Combat Economic Crime and fraud is leaving consumers increasingly vulnerable to financial crime and fraud.

Speaking following a Finance Committee hearing, Deputy Doherty called for policy interventions to protect consumers against the rise in scams and fraud.

Teachta Doherty said:

“Financial fraud and scams continue to rise, with citizens being robbed of millions of euros each year by fraudsters.

“More than two years after the Hamilton Report, the government still do not have a multi-annual plan to tackle economic crime and fraud.

“Banks and An Garda Síochána still do not have a Shared Fraud Database that would allow industry to tackle fraudsters and protect consumers, despite banks repeatedly calling for it to be established.

“I requested that the Finance Committee undertake a series of hearings on the issue of Authorised Push Payment Fraud, with the first taking place today.

“Inaction from government is leaving customers increasingly exposed, with the Banking and Payments Federation today warning that the State is at risk of becoming a destination of choice for fraudsters as it falls further behind in addressing fraud.

“These scams are also being advertised online, on social media, by e-mail and text message.

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

“It is time to consider whether these online platforms should compensate victims where they are targeted through their channels.

“We also know that payment service providers are not required to compensate victims of authorised push payment fraud – something that will soon be required in the North.

“And banks have no system to cross-check the name of the person victims send their money to against the account of the fraudster – an effective system to reduce fraud that is in place in the Netherlands and Britain.

“It is clear that the hovernment is failing to address the rise in fraud with the seriousness this growing crime demands.”

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