The British Independent Retail Association (Bira), the leading trade association for independent retail in the UK which works with more than 6,000 businesses of all sizes, is backing the government’s Stop! Think Fraud campaign which launched on 12 February 2024.

The evidence-led campaign aims to transform the fight against fraudsters and brings together counter-fraud experts to provide the public with anti-fraud advice.

According to a 2023 crime survey in England and Wales, 1 in 17 adults have been victims of fraud.

Research from fraud prevention company Ravelin found that retailers are struggling against online payment fraud, account takeover, promotion abuse, refund abuse, customer fraud and chargeback fraud. Chargeback is known as “friendly fraud” and occurs when a consumer makes an online purchase with a credit card then requests a chargeback from the issuing bank after receiving the purchased goods or services. The consequences can be devastating for independent retailers with limited resources.

The Stop! Think Fraud online hub serves as a central resource where individuals and businesses can learn about potential risks, recognise signs of fraud and discover effective ways to protect themselves.

Bira is encouraging its members and independent retailers across the UK to visit the hub to access information and guidance on safeguarding against fraudulent activities.

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Artificial intelligence (AI) offers a promising solution to combatting transaction fraud. Key players using the technology are Mastercard, Visa and Capital One.

Bira marketing director John Halliday commented: “We believe that collective action is crucial in the fight against fraud. By supporting the government’s campaign, we aim to contribute to a united front against fraudulent activities, safeguarding the interests of both businesses and the public.”