The Daily Telegraph
45m scam texts sent ... and just four fraud prosecutions
JUST four scam texters have been prosecuted for fraud in the past year, despite messages being received by an estimated 45 million people, official data have revealed.
Only four individuals were charged with fraud by false representation in the year to June 2022, an offence which covers consumer phone fraud, according to figures from the Home Office.
That is despite 82 per cent of the population receiving scam texts or calls in a three month period, according to Ofcom research, a statistic equivalent to 44.6 million people.
Scams are more commonly attempted via text messages, with 71 per cent saying they have received a suspicious text, compared with 51 per cent reporting a suspicious live phone call.
Emily Thornberry, the shadow attorney general, said: “Fraud is the UK’S most commonly experienced crime but the level of enforcement against the parasites responsible is still pathetically weak and complacent.”
Four prosecutions in one year is the lowest on record, falling from 14 in 2018, 11 in 2019, seven in 2020 and nine in 2021.
The disclosure comes after The Daily Telegraph revealed last week that just one in 1,000 frauds is solved by police, despite a 30 per cent increase in offences.
Tom Tugendhat, the security minister, who chairs the Government’s fraud task force, pledged a new strategy would be announced “very soon” as he acknowledged “fraud has been a blight on too many communities”.