Yahoo Finance, 21st August 2019
The recent presentation of a ‘Hero Award’ by the Chartered Institute of Trading Standards (CTSI) to online investigations and verification business KwikChex highlighted the value of the private sector in fighting what has been an inexorable rise in fraud
Since 2010, KwikChex has been fighting battles to help prevent harm caused by fraudulent online content. Whilst much attention has been paid to the exposure by KwikChex of millions of fake online reviews and the removal of thousands specifically designed to harm businesses and consumers, in more recent times, it has been the KwikChex successes relating to protecting consumers and supporting law enforcement against scammers that have become most prominent.
The effectiveness of the KwikChex fraudbusting work was acknowledged on 25 June 2019, with the presentation of a ‘Hero Award’ to Chris Emmins, KwikChex co-founder and director at a special ceremony in London organised by the Chartered Institute of Trading Standards – representing the vital UK Trading Standards enforcement community. Conor Burns MP, recently made minster for state, Department for International Trade presented the award at One Great George Street, Westminster.
KwikChex was cited as having provided ‘expert’ witness testimony in for the prosecution in a number of cases, one of which with potentially millions of pounds worth of fraud.
Chief Executive at CTSI, Leon Livermore, said: “The Business Award is designed to recognise businesses that demonstrate a dedication to protecting consumers. KwikChex not only strives to help consumers who have suffered at the hands of ruthless fraudsters but has been a strong supporter of our profession. I’m pleased to name them our 2019 Business Hero.”
The successful prosecutions and civil actions that have taken place as a result of KwikChex investigations and support have resulted in custodial sentences for fraudsters and also refunds to consumers totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds – and many consumers have been saved from losses by the free advice provided by KwikChex. Particularly prominent has been the work within the timeshare sector, where the KwikChex-managed ‘Timeshare Task Force’ has assisted thousands of timeshare owners that have been targeted by dishonest timeshare claims and relinquishment rogues.
KwikChex is working ever-closer with law enforcement and government organisations to help stem the tide of fraud – and new resources, which will help consumers avoid the scams and prioritise legal actions against the fraudsters are set to be made available later in 2019.
As the Trading Standards award has confirmed, the KwikChex model of funding from the private sector to tackle internet-enabled fraud is becoming more and more vital at a time of increasing threat and much-reduced funding for law enforcement. Bringing businesses committed to high standards and strong consumer protection together with intelligence gained from investigations and consumer information is crucial to tackling one of the biggest crime problems the world has faced. It will play an increasingly important and effective role in future.
View the article on Yahoo Finance:
See the story of the KwikChex Hero Award – on the Trading Standards Journal website