Business banking platform Tide has called on the government to introduce a tax on social media and telecoms companies to fund and train more police officers to tackle what it calls Britain's "fraud epidemic".
Fraud has soared in the UK over recent years, with total loses to scams hitting £610 million in the first half of last year. Much of this - £250 million - was down to Approved Authorised Payment (APP) fraud.
Last week, the government set out a new fraud strategy which will see the creation of a National Fraud Strategy with 400 new investigators.
However, this is "nowhere near enough" to tackle the problem, says Tide, which is proposing an anti-fraud tax on the value chain to fund the required law enforcement capacity. The levy would apply to social media and telecoms companies, where, says Tide, the majority of scams originate, as well as faster payment transactions.
This would fund UK law enforcement agencies and make it mandatory for them to investigate and prosecute scammers, including those based abroad, under a zero-tolerance policy.
The financial services sector has long complained that social media and telco firms have escaped responsibility for compensating the victims of financial fraud, pushing for online scams to be included in the government's 'Online Harms' bill.
TSB revealed last week that scams taking place on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp make up 80 per cent of fraud cases within the bank’s three biggest fraud categories.
Tide is also calling for a "re-think" of the rules that force financial institutions to reimburse all victims of authorised fraud as well as the introduction of mandatory data sharing.
Oliver Prill, CEO, Tide, says: "The target to cut fraud by only 10% by the end of 2024 with another 400 police officers is nowhere near enough to combat the sheer scale of the problem and the damage done. This is why we are calling for a tax to fund action against what has become a terrible blight on the UK."