World leaders and tech giants unite in summit to fight fraud

London summit aims to crush safe havens for international fraudsters

A global gathering in London aims to dismantle safe havens for frauds. PA
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Ministers, financial organisations, and tech giants from around the world will convene at a summit in London to discuss strategies to battle international fraud.

The meeting, set to begin on Monday at Lancaster House, is a collective effort to tackle the growing threat posed by cross-border financial frauds.

Interpol’s General Secretary, Jurgen Stock, emphasised the need for global co-operation.

“Cross-border co-operation was needed to ensure there are no safe havens for financial fraudsters,” Mr Stock said.

Those at the summit will include representatives of the Five Eyes intelligence partnership – the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – and other nations such as France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

Tech firms such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, TikTok and LinkedIn, alongside financial sector giants including HSBC, NatWest, Santander, Visa and various national and international banking associations, are due to attend.

The two-day summit will also host law-enforcement agencies and civil society groups, highlighting the collaborative effort required to address this issue.

A concerning increase in global fraud is anticipated to be highlighted in an Interpol threat assessment.

“Changes in technology and the rapid increase in the scale and volume of organised crime has driven the creation of a range of new ways to defraud innocent people, business and even governments," Mr Stock said.

"Urgent action is required.”

The UK experiences significant effects from international fraud, with about 70 per cent of offences linked to international criminals, leading to £3 billion ($3.86 billion) lost to overseas accounts last year.

Interpol has indicated that organised criminal groups, including human traffickers forcing people to work in scam centres, often perpetrate such fraud.

“Fraudsters have no regard for boundaries, they devastate citizens in all our countries," British Home Secretary James Cleverly said.

“We will only put a stop to this scourge if we fight it head-on together and that’s precisely what we plan to do.”

Graeme Biggar, director general of the National Crime Agency, said: “Over 70 per cent of fraud has an international element and it is clear that we need an efficient and effective joint response with partners across the globe.

“The global fraud summit is an important step forward, bringing together colleagues from the public and private sectors to tackle this persistent and pervasive threat.”

Updated: March 10, 2024, 10:30 PM