Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell has raised the story in parliament of a constituent who was defrauded out of £93,000 during a question on what the government is doing to help victims.

Speaking in the House of Commons this week, Caroline asked the Justice Secretary Alex Chalk: “I wanted to raise a case first raised with me at my advice surgery. After first seeing an ad on the tube, my constituent, a man of very good standing, invested in what turned out to be a fraudulent company to the tune of £93k. He was clearly a victim of crime and mercifully his bank reimbursed his life savings after some challenge.

“So he did get financial restitution, but the whole experience had wider devastating impacts. Those behind the company were registered in Serbia, and to the best of knowledge have never been brought to justice.

“As my constituent didn’t go through the full criminal justice system, can I ask how victims such as he, can be supported, in cases such as this?”

In response the minister said: “I thank my honourable friend for raising her constituent’s case.

“Fraud is a pernicious, cruel crime and it can have an appalling impact. To support victims in recovering lost funds, the financial services and markets act 2023 gives the payments system regulator further powers to mandate reimbursement where needed, and I am glad that took place in this case.

“But to bring wrongdoers to justice, prosecutors including the CPS, the FCA, the FCO regularly co-operate with their international counterparts to make arrests and secure evidence overseas so that in appropriate cases defendants can be extradited to face trial in the UK.

“Now the other critical point is that the victims code has been expanded so that the people like her constituent can get the support they need. I would invite him to look at what support is available online.”

Speaking afterwards Caroline said: “Fraud is a serious ongoing problem. It is the single largest crime in the UK, accounting for 40% of offences. I am pleased my constituent got his money back and I will be making sure he is connected to every kind of support now being made available. I am so glad he came to my advice surgery and felt he could talk to me about his situation. I value so highly the trust he placed in me.    

“Last year, the government launched its Fraud Strategy and has subsequently formed the National Fraud Squad, with over 400 investigators already in post. This has led to a 13% drop in fraud offences.

“Ministers will be introducing a ban on cold calling from October 2024, so it is easy for people to know that unsolicited marketing calls are not legitimate.

“I also welcome the launch this month of the Stop! Think Fraud campaign. This initiative will to help inform the public to recognise and respond to the different types of fraud and common tactics that criminals use.

“There is a new website, www.gov.uk/stopthinkfraud, where people can find advice on how to protect themselves.”