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This Conference Report summarises the discussions at three workshops jointly facilitated by the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies (CFCS) at RUSI and Stop Scams UK in April and May 2022. The workshops included technical specialists from member organisations of Stop Scams UK, including banks, technology companies and telecoms providers.
Fraud has become a global industry. Organised large-scale volume scams, often perpetrated by international organised crime groups, exploit the vulnerable, damage the UK’s economy and undermine financial stability. The money obtained through fraud is laundered through the financial system and feeds further criminality including terrorism, human trafficking, and the trade in drugs and weapons. The concept of data-/information sharing is cited by industry organisations, international bodies and the government as a crucial weapon in the fight against fraud. Without collaboration and data-sharing, fighting fraud has been described as ‘like trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle without knowing who has the next missing piece'. Better information sharing is one of the Strategic Objectives of the UK government’s current Economic Crime Plan, and is likely to underpin the upcoming second iteration. While there have been a lot of welcome initiatives in the data-sharing space, particularly in relation to fraud, there remains a lack of consensus about what is meant by data-sharing, the objectives and/or incentives for the private sector to share data about frauds, and how legal and regulatory frameworks can allow for effective data-sharing, particularly between different industry sectors. There is, therefore, a clear role for industry leadership in coordinating efforts and delivering the objectives of greater and more effective data-sharing.
Senior Research Fellow
Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies