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Friday, May 19th, 2023, 2:51 pm

Action Fraud: Anybody Home or Just Bots?

Video download link | md5sum 4cd628f27bc3a0865875d46519d80701
Nobody to Speak With Today
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: 28 days ago I reported fraud committed by Sirius ‘Open Source’ against many members of its own staff for more than half a decade; “An assessment will be made as to whether there are viable lines of enquiry that would enable a law enforcement body, such as the police service, to investigate. The NFIB aim to provide you with an update on your report within 28 days,” they said 28 days ago, but no word was received from them. Today I phoned them up for an update and the video above documents the process. The short story is, no human answered the call and I ended up with a silent wait, maybe due to a technical error.

“I am sorry to hear you have been a victim of crime,” said a message to me 28 days ago. “Thank you for taking the time to report to Action Fraud. Your report has been sent to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) for review.”

Did they get back to me? No, Not yet.

Maybe the coronation spectacle kept them very busy.

As the video hopefully makes evident, their answering system isn’t working. I didn’t even get to speak to a person. I was just muted completely for several minutes (or rather, the other side was perpetually muted, without any indication of any progress whatsoever).

This is especially frustrating as people have been the victims of a crime and there’s nobody to even speak to. Manchester’s police told me I must contact Action Fraud, not them. After 28 days there has been no action, just inaction, and there seems to be nobody to speak to for updates. That’s a lot worse than I expected when initiating the call.

Maybe it’s intentional? To keep down the “plebs” and “chavs”? It’s probably not intentional, but I will try again on Monday to see if I get any luckier, even though these calls aren’t cheap and quite frankly they should have made these ‘freecall’ (0800 and similar), especially if the aim is to protect vulnerable people on shoestring budget. Making such a process this slow would result in fatigue, frustration, and in turn learned helplessness. Curiously enough they present options (in the voice menus) insinuating that their target callers are business and organisations.

Having a police unit that claims to be doing something without actually doing it (or improperly doing it) is a matter of saving face or ticking the “right box”. Action is needed, not automated messages and robots on a telephone line.

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