The Daily Telegraph

45m scam texts sent ... and just four fraud prosecutio­ns

- By Charles Hymas Home Affairs editor

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”.

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