When the Home Office recently announced the closure of National Fraud Authority and that is was transferring of all its activities to National Crime Agency, www.ukfraud.co.uk is asking people to commit resources and strategies that reduce the risks associated with fraud. Some of the specific actionable points include:
1. Eliminating fraud targets
In NFA’s five year tenure, fraud levels were considerably high making it hard to fight fraud effectively. Its objectives were also not clear making the regulatory body to narrow its mandate to areas that it was previously not meant to handle. According to UKFraud, transferring NFA’s workload without clear mandates and targets will make it difficult for NCA to fight fraud domestically. It is paramount for there to be clear targets that will challenge NCA to deliver quality results. All the target areas should be in line with the Fraud review released in 2005 when NFA was being set up.
There has to be functional strategic direction and guidance for NCA to deliver results in saving the billions of pounds that are lost every year to fraud. NCA shouldn’t take the route that NFA took but should put in place measures aimed at increasing performance driven by an agenda. Special attention needs to be put in place to regulate m-commerce, which presents many loopholes for fraudsters to exploit due to lack of clear regulatory frameworks since the present ones are already outdated. Additionally, NCA has to set regulatory measures for local authorities.
3. Expert Fraud Strategy Teams
One of the causes of NFA’s failure was lack of professionals who had experience in combating fraud. NCA shouldn’t take NFA’s route but should instead consider eliminating the inexperienced civil servants by choosing professionals in the field of fraud detection. The most sustainable answer to fighting fraud in the UK would attained when NCA hires experienced professionals in combating fraud.
4. Global understanding
The fight against fraud shouldn’t just be a local fight but an international one because advancement of technology has made fraud to be done using portable devices hence the need for NCA to be proactive in combating fraud. Failures of NFA may be linked to its inability to take the fight outside UK making foreign fraudsters to have a considerably easy time. This means NCA should create links with foreign bodies to work together in the fight against fraud including CIA, the European Payment Council and the European Police forces. This should certainly make the UK very unfavourable for any fraudster.
Bill Trueman who is a representative of UKFraud commented on the news saying that more needs to be done to transform the manner in which UK fights fraud by changing focus from local fraud to international focus. Continuing using the same old tricks in fighting fraud like using outdated infrastructure makes the fight against fraud fruitless. The current focus is also misplaces such that the relevant institutions are mainly focusing on current fraud cases as opposed to focusing on how to stop it from recurring.
The government needs to equip NCA to fight fraud effectively in the wake of advancement of technology that make overseas attacks possible. Modern fraudsters may perpetrate frauds without being noticed or may be too smart for many ill equipped people. There is great opportunity for NCA to prove to the people that it can take the fight against fraud in the fraudsters’ doors.