Call for Evidence
Call for evidence - Fraud Act 2006 Committee
Aim of the Inquiry
The House of Lords Committee on the Fraud Act 2006 and Digital Fraud was appointed on 19 January 2022. It is chaired by Baroness Morgan of Cotes and intends to report by 30 November 2022.
Fraud is the act of gaining a dishonest advantage, often financial, over another person. Under the Fraud Act 2006, a person can commit fraud by false representation, by failing to disclose information, or by abuse of position. Today, fraud is the most commonly experienced crime in England and Wales, accounting for approximately 42% of all crime against individuals, causing losses of billions per year. The pandemic fuelled growth in the use of online services such as banking. This dependency on digital technology has left more and more people vulnerable to increasingly sophisticated fraudsters. The impact of fraud on victims can be significant both financially and emotionally.
This Inquiry will consider what measures should be taken to tackle the increase in cases of fraud. It will consider how the provisions laid out in the Fraud Act 2006 are used in practice for the detection, prevention and prosecution of fraud, and explore whether the Act is in need of reform. We will pay particular attention to how the Act is being applied to tackle fraud committed online or through digital means.
This is a public call for written evidence to be submitted to the Committee. The deadline is 12:00pm on 22 April 2022.
The Committee would like to hear from a diverse a range of individuals and organisations and is particularly keen to receive submissions from victims of fraud. If you have been a victim of fraud and would like to write to the Committee, you need not feel constrained by the questions listed below. We are keen to learn about your experiences whatever they may be.
If you are an organisation that works with victims, we would be grateful if you are able to share this inquiry with them. To ensure the voice of victims is central to our inquiry, the Committee is also planning to engage with victims willing to share their views in either a private or public setting. Please indicate within your written evidence whether you would be willing to share your experience with the Committee.
The Committee is happy to receive submissions on any issues related to the subject of the inquiry but would particularly welcome submissions on the questions listed below. You do not need to address every question and you may interpret the questions broadly, providing as much information as possible. Instructions on how to submit evidence are found at the end of this document.
1. What fraud risks are UK a) individuals, b) the Government and c) businesses particularly vulnerable to today, and what are the reasons for this?
2. What future economic and technological developments are likely to impact how fraudsters seek to commit crime over the next five to ten years, and how might these be prepared for and mitigated? What role can technology and tech companies play in combatting fraud across this timescale?
3. Is fraud and its victims treated as a priority? If not, what are the reasons for this. The Committee is particularly interested in responses that can explain any barriers preventing effective counter-fraud cooperation within Government, law enforcement, the public sector and the private sector.
4. What is the role of international actors in the UK’s fraud landscape? What are the barriers to tackling borderless fraud?
Action to Tackle Fraud
5. How effective is the current structure for policing fraud? How successful are the City of London Police, including Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, at executing their role as the lead police force for fraud?
6. Are sufficient resources available to Government organisations (such as the Serious Fraud Office and Crown Prosecution Service) and wider police forces to tackle fraud and support victims, and how should this be addressed if not? Answers need not be limited to financial resources.
7. What are the responsibilities of the private sector in protecting the public against digital fraud? How can a balance be achieved between the need to tackle digital fraud whilst supporting the growth of these sectors? To what extent is work done to combat fraud across the private sectors undermined by siloed or independent working practices?
8. What are the legislative or regulatory impediments to sharing fraud risk data across and between the private and public sectors? For example, to what extent does General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) limit data sharing?
9. What is the role of the individual in relation to fraud? Are consumers well informed about the risks of fraud and how to prevent them? If not, which bodies or organisations should do more to ensure this? What are the most effective methods of educating the public about fraud crime and prevention?
10. What is your assessment of the Fraud Act 2006? What has been the impact of the Act and is it having any unintended consequences; if so, what are these?
11. Is existing legislation effective in tackling the increase in modern forms of fraud? If not, is there a legislative remedy, or should fraud be addressed primarily through implementation of existing provisions? Answers may refer to existing mechanisms such as increasing the scope and powers of regulators. You may refer to any legislation and are not limited to the Fraud Act 2006
12. Is the current system in place for prosecuting fraud cases working effectively? If not, what are the key barriers to prosecution?
13. Are sanctions and penalties for criminals who commit fraud an effective deterrent against future criminal activity, and if not, what might be more successful? Respondents may choose to refer to penalties imposed by the judicial system or by specific sectors.
14. What lessons can be learned from effective policy interventions and schemes both in the UK and overseas?
15. Can you suggest one policy recommendation that the Committee should make to the Government?
ANNEX: GUIDANCE FOR SUBMISSIONS
Short, concise submissions are preferred, and submissions longer than 6 pages should include a one-page summary. Please ensure the submission is free of logos and signatures. Paragraphs should be numbered, and submissions should be dated.
Submissions should make a note of the author’s name, and of whether the author is acting in an individual or corporate capacity. Submissions with a university or college address should make clear whether they are submitted in an individual capacity or on behalf of the university or college.
The Committee cannot accept anything that has not been prepared specifically in response to this call for evidence, or that has been published elsewhere.
You should be careful not to comment on individual cases currently before a court of law or matters in respect of which court proceedings are imminent. If you anticipate such issues arising, you should discuss with the Clerk to the Committee how this might affect your submission.
Submissions become the property of the Committee, which will decide whether to accept them as evidence. Once you have received acknowledgement via email that your submission has been accepted as evidence, you may publicise or publish it yourself, but in doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee. If you publish your evidence separately, you should be aware that you will be legally responsible for its content.
Submissions which are accepted by the Committee as written evidence may be published online at any stage. When it is published as written evidence a submission becomes subject to parliamentary copyright and is protected by parliamentary privilege. Submissions which have been previously published will not be accepted as evidence.
Once your submission has been accepted as evidence you will be notified by a further email, and at this point you may publicise or publish it yourself. In doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee, and you should be aware that your publication or re-publication of your evidence may not be protected by parliamentary privilege.
This is a public call for evidence. Please bring it to the attention of other groups and individuals who may not have received a copy directly.
Diversity comes in many forms and hearing a range of different perspectives means that committees are better informed and can more effectively scrutinise public policy and legislation. Committees can undertake their role most effectively when they hear from a wide range of individuals, sectors or groups in society affected by a particular policy or piece of legislation. We encourage anyone with experience or expertise of an issue under investigation by a select committee to share their views with the committee, with the full knowledge that their views have value and are welcome. If you think someone you know would have an interest in contributing to the inquiry, please pass this on to them.
You may follow the progress of the inquiry at the following link: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/582/fraud-act-2006-and-digital-fraud-committee/.
This call for written evidence has now closed.Go back to Fraud Act 2006 and Digital Fraud Committee Inquiry