Social media user verification needed to combat fraud – survey finds

Social media giants, such as Facebook and Twitter, must implement user verification across their platforms, in a bid to tackle escalating fraud online. 

Ahead of the Online Safety Bill, which comes before Parliament this month [May], 60% of respondents surveyed as part of a high-profile fraud prevention campaign, insist social media platforms should do more to protect users through verification requirements. More than a quarter of people (27%) said this will have a significant impact on preventing social media-enabled fraud and scams from occurring. 

According to the latest figures, one in 15 people is a victim of fraud each year in the UK, with the internet believed to play a role in more than half. Computer misuse offences were also up last year by 36% to 1.7 million – mostly driven by hacking of social media and email. 

The survey of 500 people found that 67% of respondents believe that social media enables criminal activity to a high degree, with purchase scams (60%) and money mule recruitment (33%) posing the biggest threat to vulnerable social media users. 

Richard Wood, CEO of Synectics Solutions, a leading provider of anti-fraud solutions based on syndicated data and predictive analytics, commented: “Social media is currently an unregulated space, which helps to facilitate significant fraudulent activity, targeting vulnerable users. 

“The introduction of user verification requirements would be an essential step forwards in preventing fraudsters from setting up fake social media accounts to perpetrate criminal activity. While organised criminal groups will always find ways and means of committing social media fraud and scams, by increasing the levels of identification this will substantially reduce the number of opportunistic fraudsters online.” 

Synectics Solutions, a UK Government Specified Anti-Fraud organisation, has joined a number of other groups, including the Fraud Advisory Panel and Cardiff University, in calling on MPs to include social media fraud and cybercrime in the forthcoming Online Safety Bill.  

The lobbying group is urging the Government to tackle the issue of social media fraud through a series of measures. These include its inclusion in the Bill, creating a voluntary fraud charter for social media companies, and encouraging the voluntary adoption of verified IDs. 


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About Synectics Solutions

Synectics Solutions works with data, and lots of it. 1/3 billion records to be precise. That data is used as a force for good by partnering with public and private sector organisations to build data sharing syndicates that provide meaningful insights and help contributors solve common problems. The challenges that Synectics Solutions help to solve are around organised financial crime, money laundering, customer identification and financial inclusion, which can only be addressed through collaboration.

Synectics Solutions is trusted by tier one banks, insurance companies and the likes of the Cabinet Office. Very few organisations can combine data and advanced technology in that way.

Synectics has been in business for almost 30 years. Over that time, they’ve won a number of accolades for being technological pioneers - including The Queen’s Award for Innovation – and along the way they’ve helped to identify and save organisations over £5 billion that could otherwise have been lost to error, fraud or wider financial crime.

Synectics is fully ISO27001 certified, is a UK Government Specified Anti-Fraud Organisation, and has the infrastructure, expertise and experience required to carry out the many business-critical data solutions for some of the world’s most regulated organisations.


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