Being the victim of fraud can be emotionally traumatic and financially devastating.  Fraud related crimes include:

  • Identity theft
  • Online dating fraud
  • Blackmail

Online dating fraud

In this busy world, online dating has become a popular way of meeting potential partners.

Don’t get caught out, online dating fraudsters almost exclusively represent themselves as professionals or of a military background and will have a full membership profile on a dating site. 

They will also have financial difficulties (mostly of a short-term nature) and will need your assistance so they can travel to meet you.

Unfortunately, there are also other individuals who use online dating facilities to represent themselves as looking for a long term meaningful relationship, when in fact they can be married or currently in a relationship. 

A good indicator that this may be the case is the unwillingness to provide a landline number or address.

If you are wary of someone that you have met online, then Cressey and Sons can undertake a background check to discreetly validate the true identity behind an Avatar.

Identity theft

Is the fastest growing crime in the UK and is growing disproportionately in terms of growth of the digital economy. In other words, as these online thieves find new ways to defraud, they do it on a massive scale.

It is, unfortunately, the case that the majority of this fraud is undertaken by organised crime.

Prevention is obviously better than the cure and we would advise that following some simple guidelines will massively reduce your risk of being a victim of identity theft. This includes:

  • Never give your credit or debit card number over the phone unless you have made the call and are certain of who you are speaking to
  • Don’t let anyone take your debit or credit card out of sight when paying in a shop or restaurant
  • Shred receipts with your card details on and correspondence with your name and address
  • Never throw away credit card or bank statement in a readable form. – Shred them
  • Your bank will never ask you for your PIN, password or other security information in full
  • Shield your PIN when withdrawing cash from an ATM and when you’re using your credit or debit card to pay for items in a shop
  • Regularly check your credit file (credit score) and check it for entries you don’t recognise
  • If you move house arrange with the Post Office for your mail to be re-directed
  • Be wary of post, phone calls or emails offering business deals out of the blue
  • Reconcile your bank account every month
  • Keep a list of telephone numbers to call to report the loss or theft of your wallet
  • If possible do not use a public computer to log into personal data. If you have to then make sure to properly log out of the personal data source

The victim of identity theft may find themselves being investigated as part of a criminal investigation, and in some cases, they may find it difficult to prove their innocence.

People who are the victims of financial fraud can also have a lot of issues come their way. If a person uses your details in any form of monetary transaction, you could end up being saddled with debts.

In most cases, if you can prove that the debts are not your responsibility, then you will not be liable for them, however, it can also be very difficult to prove that you are not at fault.

Even if you manage to absolve yourself of responsibility for the debts, removing incorrect information from your credit score can be even harder.

If you have been the victim of identity theft then Cressey and Sons may be able to help you in identifying the culprit or minimising the damage.