Sinn Féin representatives Ruairí Ó Murchú TD, Pa Daly TD and Caoimhe Archibald MLA have today launched the party’s all-Ireland survey on fraud.
The survey, available at this link, asks members of the public about their experiences of fraud, in order to inform policy proposals to better support victims.
Teachta Daly said:
“There is serious evidence online fraud is rising during the pandemic, having already been on an upward trend. Between 2018 and 2019, fraud increased in my own county of Kerry by 75%, from 108 offences to 189, the highest increase across any category of crime.
“In March April and May of this year, fraud offences doubled in my own county of Kerry, from 49 to 101, when compared to the same period in 2020. Trends across the country are going up as well and the same period national saw a 40% increase compared to 2020.
Teachta Ó Murchú added:
“Crypto-currencies are a growing part of online fraud and AnGarda Síochána must be properly resourced, as per the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing.
“The report says the ‘capacity and expertise of the existing Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau should be substantially expanded as a matter of urgency, and personnel appointments in that field should be fast tracked’.
“Legislation alone is never enough and the government needs to make good on its own promise in the programme for government to ‘rapidly’ implement these recommendations. Our survey will help to focus attention on this vital area and I urge those affected to participate.”
Caoimhe Archibald MLA, Chair of the Assembly Economy Committee, said:
“The increase in elaborate fraud and scams over the past year is deeply worrying. A number of people, particularly those that are older and vulnerable, have been targeted by scammers and have been robbed of thousands of pounds.
“In 2020 Action Fraud revealed that phone scams in the north alone resulted in a loss of £22 million. This survey can help establish what is needed to help tackle fraud and keep our communities safe.”