Esther McVey is urging Government to run a national fraud awareness campaign in an attempt to reduce the number of people falling victim to the fraudsters.
The Tatton MP said the number of scams circulating is increasing daily, with more sophisticated techniques being used to commit the crime.
She said she has spoken to constituents who have suffered at the hands of fraudsters and more is needed to be done to be proactive and reinforce the dangers these criminals pose.
Speaking in Parliament she called for action and hopes to meet with ministers soon to discuss the need for a UK wide campaign.
Ms McVey said: “Constituents in Tatton are increasingly concerned about the growing number and range of online fraud and scams, and the ability of Action Fraud to deal with them. Many of those crimes originate outside the UK, with some from hostile states such as Russia. What is the Minister doing to counter that?”
Home Office Minister Damian Hinds said: “We share her constituents’ concern. We are looking constantly to upgrade and improve Action Fraud, and I encourage her constituents to carry on reporting those instances of fraud. Together with the rest of our constituents, their forwarding of dodgy emails to email@example.com has so far led to 73,000 scams being removed.”
Ms McVey said she would prefer a more proactive approach and a Government backed campaign using all forms of media from TV ads to radio and newspapers, along with social media, would be beneficial. It could run together with Police, Age UK and Citizens Advice and other interested organisations, she suggested.
She said: “I will be setting out more to ministers in the coming days as I believe we need to be proactive about this issue. It is a crime that is increasing and it can affect anyone, it is not just the elderly and vulnerable being targeted, as once was the case. These scammers are clever and know how to target people and what methods to use and as their scams evolve, we need to make sure we are on top of it and getting the message out there to our constituents.”
Ms McVey said given fraud costs the UK economy nearly two billion a year, a campaign could save significant amounts of money for both the taxpayer as well as reducing the number of victims.