Concerns raised about how cyber crimes are handled

Staffordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner is calling for a review of how cyber crimes are dealt with.

Matthew Ellis says he is concerned that confusion over who is responsible for dealing with incidents means that victims are being let down.

He says that a fresh look at the effectiveness of Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting body.

It comes as one Stoke-on-Trent pensioner has said she feels let down by Action Fraud and the justice system, after she was conned out of £147,000 over two years.

The former teacher said that after speaking to police, they referred the case to Action Fraud. She had then received a letter from them to say they had not been able to find any leads which would result in a successful criminal investigation, so their report had not been sent to her local police force to pursue further.

She even contacted the scammers again and ended up giving them more money, as she wanted to prove what was happening to the police and try and get back what she had lost.

Mr Ellis says that he believes that Action Fraud are overwhelmed by the rising amount of cases, but also fears they are the tip of the iceberg.

A survey carried out by Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold in the county showed: 

  • 62,000 internet users were victims of at least one cyber crime.
  • 12% reported the incident to the police.
  • 2% reported the incident to Action Fraud.

Mr Ellis said: "Action Fraud was set up for the right reasons and with the best of intentions as the UK’s national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre. However, it is clearly overwhelmed and the understandable need to prioritise caseload leaves too many victims without any meaningful service.

"A few thousand pounds loss might not qualify as a priority case, but for the pensioner, or any individual, who has lost it, it can be life changing.

"At the moment for many people Action Fraud appears little more than a call centre with no teeth and no power."



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