Saturday, 12 November 2011

FraudWatch gets £1m Lottery Funding

Fraudwatch has been given £1million in Lottery funding to keep researching and expand its reach into the public with advise and up-to-date news. A new website and dedicated reporting team will be launched soon!! This is fantastic news and has been due to the efforts of responsible researchers and journalists who have opened new doors to fraud prevention and helped bring fraudsters to justice.

November Issue

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

September Issue Fraud Watch Out soon

Following August's massive success with over 300,000 readers September issue is soon to be published online. Fraud watch is delivered to subscribers all over the world online and in the U.K in paper form.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Anti-fraud campaign

UK citizens lose around £2.4 billion every year as a result of scam mail.

Sent by professional fraudsters, scam letters are designed to con recipients into investing in bogus schemes such as fake lotteries, share frauds and inheritance scams. They depend on persuading victims to hand over money based on promises of valuable goods, services, or benefits that are never delivered.

After replying to a 'tempter' letter, victims' names can be put on a 'suckers list' which is then sold to other fraudsters. Chronic victims include some of the most vulnerable people in society, some of whom end up being hounded with terrible consequences.

Impact of scam mail

Detective Superintendent Mark Ponting, head of prevention and disruption for the Metropolitan Police Service's Economic and Specialist Crime Command, said: "The individuals behind this type of crime are cynical and pernicious, making their living by targeting and exploiting some of the most vulnerable and needy people in our society.

"For many of these victims, the bombardment of scam mail results in fear, severe financial difficulties and ultimately a decline in both physical and mental health.

"In some cases in the UK it has ended in suicide.

"We hope that Mass Marketing Fraud Awareness Week and the action that we will take in the future will raise awareness of this crime amongst all sectors of society and prevent more people from falling victim to it."

Think Jessica's Marilyn Baldwin, said: "My mother Jessica was in her late seventies and suffering from (undiagnosed) age-related declining mental health when she was hunted down by scam mail criminals.

"For five years I tried to convince my mum that she was being scammed, but criminals claiming to be clairvoyants, lottery officials & solicitors led her to believe the family were against her- she would not co-operate.

"I believe that the thousands of scam letters we removed from her home contributed to her death in 2007.

"I started the campaign (Opens in a new window) three years ago and during that time we have been alerted to thousands of elderly and vulnerable silent victims who are being tricked, "befriended" and threatened by criminals worldwide.

"The most effective way of stopping these criminals from succeeding is by refusing to engage with them - this is the message we hope to spread during this week of awareness."

SOCA fraud expert Colin Woodcock, said: "Mass marketing fraud is serious organised crime and every organisation involved in this campaign is committed to fighting it. But the single most powerful weapon we have in that fight is better public awareness. If you suspect that someone close to you is a victim, there is help and advice available. Don't let the criminals get away with it."

City of London Police's Detective Superintendent Tony Crampton, said: "As the lead force for investigating fraud in this country, we work year round to bring to justice those people behind these scams. Make no mistake, these are not casual fraudsters, but ruthless and calculated criminal gangs, with a business-like approach to conning vulnerable victims out of their money. But that professional approach does not prevent us from catching them, prosecuting them, and putting them behind bars. This campaign sends a clear message to the criminals who target the vulnerable: you are on our radar, and more and more people are becoming aware of the tricks of your trade."

Mitain Conrad - update

Files obtained under the freedom of information act have shown that Mitain Conrad made several interviews with undercover police investigators and assisted by prividing valuable information on several wanted individuals.

Having done so he was subsequently let loose with Police authorities denying any such event.

Lawyers acting for Mitain Conrad have indicated a High Court judgement will be sought to officially clairify the actual event.

Pass the ID fraud test with a good password

Hard-to-crack passwords make it much more difficult for thieves to steal your identity. So how do you come up with passwords that are easy enough to remember but hard for fraudsters to work out – while avoiding the temptation of using the same password for lots of different accounts?

Your first name, surname, birthday, home town, wife’s name, child’s name, pet’s name and so on all make bad passwords as they are easy for fraudsters to guess (or find out on Facebook).

Fraudsters also use automatic “dictionary” attacks, using a computer to work their way through common words – so it’s not a good idea to use everyday words as passwords, either.

One way to foil the most common methods fraudsters use is to start using combinations of letters, numbers and symbols – but you need to do more than stick the number 1 at the end of your surname, for instance.

One method is to use the initials of an easily memorable phrase. So ‘David Brent’s bank account at Nat West’ could become “dbb1@nwest” – a phrase that even dictionary software would find tough as it contains no real words. Or something like ‘tottenham 61’ could become ‘tott61enham’.

It’s also an idea to keep separate email addresses when you register for online services, in addition to using separate passwords. It’s free to get webmail from several different providers. This means if criminals get hold of one of your account’s details or gain access to one email account, your other accounts will be safe.

And, as ever, if you are worried you’ve been a victim of ID fraud

50,000 ID fraud victims so far this year

Fraud in the first half of 2011 is 10% higher than a year ago according to new figures from CIFAS, the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service – with more than 50,000 ID fraud victims.

Using someone else’s identity is fraudsters’ preferred method so far this year. CIFAS recorded 111,505 frauds from January to June and more than half related to impersonation and identity fraud (46%) or the takeover of a victim’s accounts (10%).