Arabic Arabic Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Dutch Dutch English English French French German German Italian Italian Portuguese Portuguese Russian Russian Spanish Spanish
| (844) 627-8267
0

Heartbreaking romance and fraud scams worth billions of pounds revealed ahead of Valentine’s Day as authorities warn of new insurance scam-style con | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans | #hacking | #aihp


Heartbreaking romance scams worth billion of pounds could target individuals with new insurance scams as fraudsters look to cash in ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Romance scammers may put pressure on victims to make fake insurance claims, the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has warned, leaving victims left unable to drive, face losing their job or struggle to find work.

In a new twist on romance scams, victims may be asked to take out fraudulent insurance policies and then manipulated into making fake claims, so that criminals can bank the payout, the IFB said.

The victims who will have unknowingly struck up a relationship with a crook, are tricked into making small claims at the start, which increase over time, leaving the person stuck in an endless criminal funding cycle.

Fraud accounts for about 40 per cent of all crime in England and Wales, costing society £6.8 billion, the Home Office said.

In a new twist on romance scams, victims may be asked to take out fraudulent insurance policies and then manipulated to make fake claims, so that criminals can bank the payout

There were 3.3 million fraud offences in the year ending June 2023, a 13 per cent decrease compared with the previous year, according to the Office for National Statistics’ Crime Survey for England and Wales.

Committing insurance fraud is a serious criminal offence and even if someone avoids prosecution, they could be added to the Insurance Fraud Register (IFR) for five years. 

Shelley Comb, IFB intelligence and investigations manager, said: ‘Being convicted of insurance fraud can have life-changing consequences; don’t risk it all to line someone’s pocket.’

This comes as it was discovered that more than £700,000 has been scammed out of people in Northern Ireland by fraudsters targeting individuals looking for love.

Ahead of Valentine’s Day, the Police Service of Northern Ireland revealed they received 73 reports of romance fraud between April last year and the start of February.

The total loss has been put at £713,133, including life-changing amounts of more than £100,000, £50,000 and £20,000, and other sums running into hundreds of pounds.

The biggest single loss reported to the PSNI was £130,000 after payments were made over a period of time to a woman the victim met online.

Police said the woman had claimed that money she was entitled to was tied up in an overseas business but she did not have a bank account to access the funds.

It was discovered that more than £700,000 has been scammed out of people in Northern Ireland by fraudsters targeting individuals looking for love

It was discovered that more than £700,000 has been scammed out of people in Northern Ireland by fraudsters targeting individuals looking for love

After the initial payment, she managed to convince her victim to continue sending money.

In another report, £20,000 was lost by a man who struck up an online relationship with a person he believed to be a celebrity overseas.

The contact continued for several months before his bank stepped in and raised the alarm.

Elsewhere, £15,000 was lost by a woman who had developed what she believed to be a genuine online relationship with a man who said he worked in the entertainment industry.

After a while, the man said he had money problems. The woman sent him money, only to realise the person she thought she was in contact with was actually a fraudster.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Wilson described romance scams as a ‘despicable type of crime’ which police believe is under-reported because people feel embarrassed.

‘By raising awareness of this type of fraud, we hope people will know the signs to look out for and feel empowered to stop fraudsters taking their money,’ he said.

‘We also want anyone who has lost money in this type of fraud to report it. Our message is: do not feel ashamed. If it has happened to you, tell us – help and support is available.’

He warned that fraudsters seek to build a relationship of trust quickly before requesting money and offering multiple excuses.

Fraud accounts for about 40 per cent of all crime in England and Wales, costing society £6.8 billion, the Home Office said

Fraud accounts for about 40 per cent of all crime in England and Wales, costing society £6.8 billion, the Home Office said

‘Initially, they’ll appear charming and appear very interested in you, but they’ll have multiple excuses for not being able to meet face to face,’ he said.

‘They’ll ask for money to help them sort out their problems – for example, medical bills – or to help pay for travel, or some investment opportunity.

‘They’ll promise to repay the money, but the harsh reality is they have no intention of doing so.

‘Sadly, for some people who believe they’ve found love online, the stark reality is they’ve been emotionally and financially drained. It’s despicable, really heart-breaking.’

He added: ‘Fraudsters don’t care about gender, sexuality, age or race. However, we see some trends in those who lose money – more frequently they’re aged between 30 and 60 years old and women are slightly more likely to lose money than men, but it’s very finely balanced,’ he said.

‘Fraudsters target everyone – don’t let it be you. Remember, no promising relationship will ever start by sending money to someone you’ve never met.’

The Government’s Stop! Think Fraud campaign, starting on Monday, includes a new website with fraud safety advice and adverts on billboards, broadcast and social media.

Labour said there has been an almost eightfold increase in the amount of fraud under Conservative rule, rising from about 440,000 offences in 2012.

Home Secretary James Cleverly said the government's new Stop! Think Fraud campaign is a new powerful tool against scams

Home Secretary James Cleverly said the government’s new Stop! Think Fraud campaign is a new powerful tool against scams

Home Secretary James Cleverly said: ‘Our bold fraud strategy is continuing to deliver for the British people.

‘This new campaign is a powerful tool to add to our arsenal, which already includes a world-first agreement from tech firms to prevent online fraud and the rollout of a national fraud squad that has 400 expert investigators.

‘I encourage everyone to stop, take a moment to think about fraud, and share this messaging far and wide.’

Security minister Tom Tugendhat said: ‘Fraud ruins lives. Following this advice will give people the best tips to stop fraudsters from stealing their hard-earned cash, and point them towards all the help and information on offer.’

Mr Tugendhat suggested the problem has worsened in recent years because ‘we’ve all gone online’, telling BBC Breakfast: ‘That’s why fraud has become so prevalent, but that’s also why we’re targeting this action.’

But shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry said: ‘Under this Tory Government there has been an almost eightfold increase in the amount of fraud, from around 400,000 offences per year to 3.2 million, and the losses to the UK as a whole have grown from £38.4 billion per year to £219 billion.

‘After 14 years spent sleepwalking through the escalation of the crisis, launching an ad campaign in response is the definition of too little, too late.

‘And most importantly, the Government’s response also remains far too narrow.

Shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry said the government's new ad campaign was 'the definition of too little, too late'

Shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry said the government’s new ad campaign was ‘the definition of too little, too late’

‘This new campaign ignores the £158 billion lost to fraud each year by UK businesses, and does not even mention the two biggest components of those losses, procurement and payroll fraud.

‘Only Labour will deliver the comprehensive new plan we need to protect everyone targeted by this parasitic crime, from small firms to pensioners.’

Rocio Concha, director of policy and advocacy at consumer group Which?, said: ‘The onus shouldn’t fall just on consumers to protect themselves.

‘Government should urgently plug the gaps in fraud prevention, particularly in the telecoms, online advertising and domain sectors, making it harder for scammers to reach potential victims in the first place.

‘Tackling fraud must be made a national priority and a fraud minister should be appointed who can bring industries together to disrupt and block online criminals.’

People can find information on how to spot fraud, stay safe and what to do if targeted, on the website gov.uk/stopthinkfraud.

Click Here For The Original Source.


————————————————————————————-

Translate