PIMFA says the latest evidence from members points to attempts to defraud savers through online scams rising further in January.
PIMFA member firms reported many attempts to scam consumers including cloned websites, fake celebrity endorsements and social media influencer ‘Get Rich Quick’ scams, impersonation scams, new courier fraud and others.
PIMFA wants the Government to include economic harm in its Online Safety Bill however so far the Government has rejected calls to do this.
The trade association joins a growing chorus of calls, including from the Investment Association, for the Online Safety Bill to be extended to cover economic harm.
The trade body says its members believe that online fraud is now so widespread only a new law would tackle the growing threat from online fraudsters.
Action Fraud figures show that in 2020 there were 356,649 reported cases of fraud and an estimated £2.1bn was lost to fraudsters.
Some £78m was lost to cloned website fraud alone. Many financial providers and some Financial Planners have been targeted by this type of fraud.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) believes that only 20% of frauds are ever reported and PIMFA believes the number of victims of fraud is far higher than currently being reported.
Liz Field, chief executive of PIMFA, said: “The impact of fraud on the financial and mental wellbeing of individuals and their families can be devastating and the figures show that it is becoming an ever-present danger in our daily lives.
“We already know the Covid-19 pandemic is causing financial hardship for many people and the danger is that if we don’t act now, as an industry together with the Government and Regulators, online fraud will only get worse.
“Most online scams could be prevented with the cooperation of Domain Name Registration Services, Internet Service Providers and online platforms such as social media and search engines, but we need a legal framework and genuine enforcement procedures if we are stop online fraud becoming pervasive. To do that we must include financial harms within the Online Safety Bill.”