Fraud victims refused justice as computers reject complaints before they’re seen

Fraud victims are failing to get justice because complaints are rejected by computers without anyone reading them.

Fewer than one in 20 reported scams are solved as fraudsters steal almost £200billion a year.

And research claims tens of thousands of complaints are dismissed by computer algorithms as simply “intelligence or information” and never followed up.

Only a small number of reports are passed on to local police forces by the national cybercrime and fraud reporting service, Action Fraud.

The consumer group Which? called the research “a disturbing insight” into a system that leaves victims feeling angry and abandoned.

With 800,000 reports a year, City of London Police, which runs Action Fraud, says it is impossible to go through every one. More than 96 per cent of crimes reported to Action Fraud are closed without a successful outcome.

Reports to the service, which has no investigative powers, are screened and scored by computer algorithm. Some are passed on to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which forwards selected ones to the relevant police force.

Which? money editor Gareth Shaw said: “The system for investigating fraud is leaving victims feeling abandoned and suggests the authorities are fighting a losing battle against a devastating crime.

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