The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Crime and Scamming has launched a review into how young people can be protected from financial crime.
Figures released by Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service, revealed a 75 per cent increase in the misuse of bank accounts involving 18 to 24 year olds during the first nine months of 2017, compared to the same period last year. The most common example of this is when an individual acts as a ‘money mule’, which means they allow their bank account to be used to facilitate the movement of criminal funds.
Research commissioned by NatWest shows the same age group are less likely to be cautious online compared to older generations. This can put them at an increased risk of falling victim to online fraud. Over 80% are willing to share their email address online with their friends, and as many as 29% are willing to share their mother’s maiden name (a commonly used security question). This contrasts with only 12% of over 55s willing to share their mother’s maiden name.
Research also reveals that security is less of a concern for devices most used by
young people for everyday activities such as online shopping. As well as this, the way that young people view security on their desktops is different to other devices; for example, whilst 86% would install security software on a PC, just 57% would do so on a tablet device such as an iPad.
This inquiry is seeking views and best practice from law enforcement, industry, the education and voluntary sector, and government on the scale of the problem. The inquiry seeks details on projects to help prevent these crimes amongst young people and thoughts on how current work can be improved.
Conor Burns MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Crime and Scamming, said “I am glad the APPG on Financial Crime and Scamming is launching this important inquiry. Frauds and scams can affect everyone and we are increasingly seeing young people being targeted by criminals.
“In particular, acting as a money mule is money laundering and has serious
consequences, when you’re caught, your bank account will be closed, making it
difficult to access cash and credit. You could even face up to 14 years in jail. If we have any hope of tackling and preventing financial crime then we must ensure that future generations know the advice to follow to prevent themselves from either falling victim to scams or committing fraud themselves.
“I look forward to individuals and organisations submitting evidence and hearing firsthand about best practice from across the country on how financial crime against young people can be stopped and prevented.”