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Fraud is one of the worst crimes a person can commit without hurting anyone physically. Not only is fraud stealing from the government, but it can also be money stolen from an individual person. The average person does not have backup resources and will have to survive with the trauma caused until an investigation can be done and then the money returned, but in many cases the damage is already done. Losing all of ones savings can happen at the worst time, which can lead to a holiday being cancelled, a home being lost, a debt missing its payment and so on. Statistics show that fraud costs the UK 14 billion pounds per year and because of that there are many safeguards in place in order to stop fraud.
Fraud prevention is not only carried out by the government in order to protect its people but also the businesses: small and large. As such there are many laws that govern what is and what is not fraud and how it must be proved and disproved, as well as the appropriate punishment for such acts. The main set of legislation that the majority of fraud prevention work stems from is the Serious Crime Act 2007; using this act the CIFAS (Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System) is able to share information on fraudulent activity, as well as guide businesses and people on the best ways to stop any kind of fraud happening directly to them.
However, fraud prevention is not just the concern of big corporations and the government; it is also an issue for the individual person. With fraud affecting tens of thousands of people a year, many safe guards have been put in both online and in the physical world in order to make it much more difficult to get around. For example, the basic magnetic strip swipe is nearly obsolete now, replaced by the chip and pin system. Most banks have taken to using a PINsentry (Natwest being one of the first) which must be used in conjunction with the owner’s card and pin number, in order to produce a unique number that must be entered in order to access their own account. However Barclays have also taken this PINsentry to a new level by not only using it as a way to access online banking, but also an instrument to use in the banks themselves in order to stop fraud.
However, each person is responsible for keeping themselves safe from fraud. One of the most common issues comes from the pin code itself, as many parents will send their children into town to buy something and in some cases the cards are then lost or stolen. A second common problem with keeping card details secret is the internet.
From emails telling you that you have won the lottery, to sites which steal your details when you buy from them, caution should always be noted and sites always double checked on Google to ensure that the site is legit and has no complaints. It is, however, wise to note that fraud prevention is one of the most well researched areas and with more and more being done to stop it; it will only be a matter of time until fraud prevention reaches perfection.
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