Action Fraud receives 20,000 scam emailsPublic say emails are being rejected as spam

03 March 2011

Action Fraud, a government organisation set up to fight fraud, has received 20,000 scam emails in less than five days.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) said the emails have been pouring in to Action Fraud, its sister agency, since it began urging the public to send on their scam emails.

The director of the NFIB, detective superintendent Tony Crampton, said: ‘We thank the general public for this overwhelming response and urge them to keep on forwarding us their scam emails.

‘These will all be analysed at the NFIB and the resulting intelligence will be used to disrupt the architects of these crimes.’

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At the end of last month, Action Fraud set up a dedicated email address: Within days, members of the public began to complain that their forwarded scam emails were being bounced back to them, as they had been rejected as spam.

An Action Fraud spokesperson confirmed the problems, and said: ‘There will be a small majority of people who will receive "bounceback" messages, because of the content of their emails. So some of these emails are being automatically "quarantined". But we are eventually receiving all of them.'

Emails sent to Action Fraud are forwarded to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau where they are collated and analysed for trends and patterns by anti-fraud professionals. This enables crucial intelligence to be gathered and preventative action to be taken, the NFA said. 

Dr Bernard Herdan, NFA chief executive officer, added: 'This is the first time we have been able to collect and analyse scam mail and emails in this way. Collecting intelligence is the key to us being able to disrupt the activities of fraudsters and target their networks for closure.'

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