Legal and security experts are warning fraud victims to be alert for criminals claiming to be able to recover lost money.
People who have been cheated out of their savings are being approached by legal recovery companies promising to recover their money for a fee.
However, all too often the company is a front for the original fraudsters or another criminal who has been sold the victim’s details.
The Association of Chief Police Officers’ Working Group on Fraud discussed the crime and alerted forces to be aware of the threat.
Daniel Berke, head of fraud at law firm Lewis Hymanson Small, said;
“These are clever fraudsters, targeting innocent victims and conning them out of their last savings. Be wary of any firms that contact you directly claiming to be able to help, especially if they’re getting in touch before you have even contacted the police or your own legal expert.”
Jim Watson, managing director of Shred Easy, one of the UK’s largest confidential data destruction companies, said;
“You should avoid any company asking for cash to recover stolen monies. In order to stop fraudsters from getting hold of confidential information in the first place, you must always securely destroy confidential data such as bank statements, receipts and credit cards. Plus I would check the security of gadgets such as your computer/laptop, BlackBerry/iPhone and memory sticks. Try and make sure you create a password so only you have access to your private data.”
Official figures from the National Fraud Authority, which was set up in 2008, show that fraud costs the economy more than £30 billion a year.