Today Advisory board member and Director of the Fraud Advisory Panel David Clarke spoke to ITV News recently to encourage victims of fraud or people who suspect they might be not to be embarrassed and report it to the police.
Speaking on ITV news, David said “Sadly we’re seeing more and more scams and approaches to people… today fraud is our number one most prevalent crime in the UK. It’s enormous.”
As well as the financial impact of fraud, David was keen to highlight the psychological impact. Fraud causes “emotional harm; feelings of letting someone down, or of feeling stupid. It really hurts the confidence [of victims] and people are frightened to report it. In my years as a police officer investigating fraud we’ve even had awful cases of people committing suicide because they feel so embarrassed.
“Now the heartless fraudster, they want this. They don’t want you reporting it, especially here in the UK. They’re hoping that people will be embarrassed and won’t report.”
However, David continues, we must not be pressured into giving away personal information and report cases of suspected fraud. “The Fraud Advisory Panel and my previous organisation the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau are very clear about this. Whenever you’re contacted, whether it’s by telephone, by email, or in the street, don’t be pressured to give out your information.
“If people start asking for personal information about your bank… politely say ‘Sorry. No, I’m not giving you that. And actually, who are you again? I’ll call you back.’
“Then call your bank [through your bank’s customer helpline] if they’re claiming to be from your bank, or likewise the police… Politely hang up, don’t keep the line open.
“If you suspect that somebody’s trying to defraud you, and recent research has shown that people get a gut feeling, don’t be embarrassed. Please get it reported if someone’s got your bank details or you suspect they might. Ring your bank and tell them, at least then they can start putting checks in place and blocks [on your accounts]. Report it to the police, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, and the Action Fraud service. Action Fraud is 24 hours a day, at www.actionfraud.police.uk, or they have a telephone helpline as well.
“Don’t feel pressured to give out your information and report it.”
David praised Zelia, the lady who had been featured in the report along with him. “I’d just like to point out that Zelia is an incredible lady, and what a lovely response she had. The way she handled this was very controlled.” If you do fall victim to fraud, not panicking, and reporting the incident is the best way help catch fraudsters and prevent them from committing crime again.
Watch the full segment, including the interview with Zelia, below: