New procedures to report debt will make financial institutions the first port of call for victims of credit card, cheque or online fraud offences, it has been announced.
From April 1st 2007, people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be required to bypass the police and go straight to the banks when claiming a fraudulent crime.
It is then up to the financial body to pass the details on to the authorities.
Statistics from Apacs show that more than 700,000 cases of card fraud occurred in the UK in 2006 – the average loss amounted to £608.
And Sandra Quinn, Apacs director of communications, claimed that the new measures will allow authorities to gain a clearer indication of the extent of the fraud problem in the UK.
They will give “a more realistic picture of the scale of this type of crime,” she said.
Still, victims of the crime may find themselves adding to the £1.25 trillion worth of personal debt in the UK reported by Credit Action last year.
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