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Are we about to see the end of phone calls selling sham financial products?

An 8-week consultation by the Home Office and other government departments is aiming to do just this.

The consultation, published on 2 August, covers proposals to ban cold calls offering any financial products and to clamp down on fraudsters seeking to trick people into buying fake investments. Once in force, people receiving a cold call offering these types of products will know that it is a scam, and fewer people will become victims.

Fraudulent investment schemes represent a significant threat to the UK economy, consumers, and society, with victims losing £750 million during 2022-23, according to data from the City of London Police.

A specialist team which provides support to victims of fraud, known as the National Economic Crime Victim Care Unit, has also been rolled out to all 43 police forces across England and Wales since the Fraud Strategy was announced.

Part funded by the Home Office; the service has existed as part of City of London Police since 2015 and is estimated to have stopped more than £2.8 million being lost to fraud. Last year its teams supported more than 113,000 victims and its rollout to all police forces will ensure more people receive the help and support they need.

The consultation aims to lead to the banning of cold calls for financial products such as sham cryptocurrency schemes, mortgages and insurance. The process marks the next step in delivering the government’s Fraud Strategy.